KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The local organization 13BEATS is working to save thousands of lives across the metro by offering free bystander CPR and AED training to the community.

“Our son’s first responders just found out that he survived, and they didn’t think he was going to,” founder of 13BEATS Ashley Dwight said.

She started the organization after her now 18-year-old son Davis went into sudden cardiac arrest during baseball practice more than a year ago.

13 minutes of CPR given by his coaches saved his life. 

“It’s just something so unexpected, and you never know when it’s gonna happen,” Davis’s childhood friend Collin Jeffries said. “So, if you’re trained, then you’re obviously much better prepared.” 

According to the American Heart Association, if performed immediately, bystander CPR can double or triple the chance of survival for someone experiencing cardiac arrest.

“The human heart is what keeps the brain alive. If the heart seizes supplying blood circulation to the brain for 3 seconds, you get lightheaded,” Executive Director of the Kansas City Heart Rythm Institute, Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, said. “If it doesn’t supply blood to your brain for five minutes, you die. That’s why those first five minutes are so critical.” 

Training like Saturday’s free class at Johnson County Community College, takes less than 10 minutes and can be used to keep a person alive like Davis until first responders arrive.

“We don’t want to hear anybody needs CPR, but we are realistic that it will always be there,” Dwight said. “We think it’s important for kids to know because you just never know.” 

The next 13BEATS event will happen in February.