After son survives cardiac arrest, family pushes to make CPR training mandatory in public schools

If someone next to you collapsed right now, would you know what to do? Would you be able to give CPR?

A 20-year-old in Central Florida recently survived a cardiac arrest because of CPR. Now, his family is trying to make sure everyone gets that training in high school.

Matthew Cobb suffered a sudden cardiac arrest back in late November, a condition that hits about 350,000 people in the U.S. each year.

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He’s fortunate, because only about 10% survive.

Cobb spent nearly two weeks in the hospital and was put in induced therapeutic hypothermia, dropping his body temperature to 91 degrees.

Now, Cobb’s family has started Matthew’s Mission, a nonprofit that’s trying to raise awareness and, more importantly, pass legislation that would mandate CPR training in public schools, and EKG tests for athletes.

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“We are in the process right now of hoping that there’s a House Bill 157, which basically requires every person to graduate high school to have CPR studies, and also every athlete to do an EKG,” said Joe Cobb, Matt’s father.

Matt Cobb said it will “mean everything” for the bill to pass.

“I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through,” he said. “I was as healthy as can be. If we can help that 10% get higher, that’d be awesome.”

The SCA Foundation stated when CPR and a defibrillator are used immediately, the survival rates increase to 50%.

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Doctors installed a portable defibrillator in Cobb to make sure his heart stays in rhythm.

The Cobbs want to make sure others get that chance too.

If you would like to help, contact the family via email at matthewsstory2020@gmail.com or reach out to your lawmakers and ask them to consider the bill that could help save lives.

Joe Kepner

Joe Kepner, WFTV.com

I unloaded the U-Haul in Orlando in 2008, just in time to cover the Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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