During a softball game at church camp, lightning struck from a cloudless sky, hitting Zach and leaving him motionless on the ground behind third base. His eyes had rolled back into his head, his nose was black and blue, and smoke was coming out of his mouth. He even smelled like burned charcoal.

Caleb Tisdale, one of the camp leaders, rushed to Zach and started CPR while someone else called 9-1-1. It began to rain, but Caleb – a former lifeguard trained in CPR – never quit. He did CPR for about 13 minutes until paramedics arrived. Paramedics continued treating Zach in an ambulance while onlookers placed their hands on the vehicle in prayer.

An emergency worker poked his head out to announce Zach’s heart was beating. Then the ambulance rushed Zach to the hospital. He’s recovered with no lasting damage to his brain or heart. He is doing well in college, studying to be a physical therapist. He and Caleb were honored by the American Heart Association as “Heartsaver Heroes.” And, he recently became certified in CPR.

“Everyone,” Zach said, “should know how to do CPR.”

The American Heart Association is nation’s leader in CPR training, with more than 14.5 million people taught in our most recent fiscal year. Thanks to donations from people like you, we can continue teaching this lifesaving skill and researching more ways to improve the techniques. You, too, can be a heart hero.

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