RICHMOND, Va. -- Evie Louka, who is 13 months old, was blue in the face and not breathing when day care worker Earlena Foskey found the child face down at the VCU Health Child Care Center. A horrifying situation with a happy ending because Foskey was trained in CPR, Louka’s family said.
The incident played out in late February. Both of Evie’s parents work in the emergency room at VCU Medical Center.
"Part of the reason [Earlena] was able to recognize what was going on that is because she knows how [Evie] normally is,” Evie’s mother Stephanie Louka said. "About a minute of CPR, and then she started to respond again, thank God.”
Louka was so grateful that Earlena saved her daughter she nominated her for an American Heart Association Heart Saver Hero Award. Earlena received the award Thursday afternoon at the VCU Health Child Care Center.
On a daily basis, Stephaine and her husband see the importance of CPR. Stephanie said she saved a 45-year old man’s life using the technique while working as an EMT in 2005. Her volunteer rescue squad gave her a small heart-shaped pin after the save, and Thursday she gifted the pin to Earlena.
"Even if you get the training, you may or may not have to do it in your life, but if you do, it can be so impactful,” Louka said. “It really is a selfless act that can make a ripple effect for another family.”
Thankfully cannot adequately describe what the Louka family feels toward Earlena, who did not wish to be interviewed for this story. More than a month away from the incident, Evie is doing great, her mother said.
"She’s entirely unscathed by the event, I can’t say the same for her dad and I,” Louka said with a laugh.
The American Heart Association reports 70-percent of cardiac arrests happen in homes. Those who administer CPR are living to perform it on someone they know and administering it immediately in an emergency can double or triple a victims likelihood of survival , the AHA said.