St. Charles family fights for first aid graduation requirement - KMSP-TV

St. Charles family fights for first aid graduation requirement

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A healthy high school senior just a few months away from graduating is not supposed to collapse and die while dancing.

But that is what happened to Lauren Laman on Feb. 8, 2008 at St. Charles North High School.

"I don't want anybody ever to experience the pain that we are experiencing because it could've been prevented," Lauren's mother Mary Laman said.

It has been nearly five years since Lauren Laman died while at drill team practice doing what she loved, dancing.

Lauren collapsed at practice where no one was able to revive her, despite a defibrillator being at the scene.

"All of a sudden she stopped sat down and said 'oh my God' and she became unresponsive," Lauren's father George Laman said. "After the fact we found out the AED was lying next to Lauren but was never utilized and that was her only chance of survival…by the time the paramedics came it was too late."

So now with the help of State Representative Dan Burke of Chicago, the Laman's are pushing for Lauren's bill.

It would require all high school students in Illinois to learn CPR and how to operate a defibrillator, or AED, as a requirement for graduation.

"We decided as a family we were going to try to make something good out of something horrible," George Laman said.

George, a former paramedic and firefighter, showed us how simple and easy an AED is to use. It literally talks you through, step-by-step, how to save someone's life.

The devices are now required in schools and many other public places.

Mary wants the legacy of her daughter's tragic death to be life for someone else.

"In the long run it will save lives because it's knowledge…and it will become a part of everybody's life," Mary said.

Representative Burke introduced Lauren's bill in the house in October, a senate co-sponsor is expected to introduce the bill there next month.

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