We are excited to introduce you to one of Waxhaw’s Heroes, Karen Schwabenlender. In 2013, with the help of neighbors who quickly administered CPR, along with assistance from the Volunteer Fire Department and Union EMS, Karen survived a sudden and unexpected cardiac arrest. The chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital is only 10%. However, giving CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance for survival. It was from this life-changing event that Karen’s passion for teaching CPR was born.
She became trained as a CPR and basic life support instructor (BLS) with the American Heart Association. She teaches as many classes as possible, and with the money earned from classes taught, along with fundraisers in her neighborhood, she is able to purchase and donate external defibrillators (AEDs) for non-profit organizations in our community.
Last year she was able to donate two AEDs to the Wesley Chapel Weddington Athletic Association and most recently she donated an AED to the Waxhaw Police Department (top right) and the Waxhaw Public Library (bottom right). As a community, we can join Karen in making our community a safer place by learning CPR. There are over 350,000 cardiac arrests in the US every year and 80% of these take place within our homes. Thank you, Karen, for donating your time and money to our community; you are a true Waxhaw Hero!