For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- The St. Lucie County Fire District honored Cheryl Lalloo, from the Jessica Clinton Foundation, with the Citizen Hero Award for her efforts to identify cardiac issues in children.
Ms. Lalloo lost her daughter, Jessica Clinton, when Jessica was in high school. She died of an undiagnosed heart condition when she was just 17 years old. Jessica's was a senior at Centennial High School at the time and the school did not have an Automated External Defibrillator, which would have increased Jessica's chances of survival.
Ms. Lalloo took that tragedy and changed it into an effort to put AEDs in every school in the county. That grew to every public building. In addition, she held a "mass CPR" class to teach CPR and the use of AEDs for residents of St Lucie County. Last year she held a Heart Screening program in partnership with the local hospitals and St. Lucie County Fire District Paramedics. That effort screened 247 children and teenagers, and found 12 students with abnormalities. Four of the students were referred for further evaluation.
"This Heart Screening effort saved four lives," according to Fire Chief Ron Parrish.
The third annual Heart Screening program will be held on Oct. 5 at the St. Lucie County Health Department. The goal is to screening 300 students, ages 5-18.
The screening is free for students ages 5-18. Parents can register online at www.jessicacling.eventbrite.com or call Cheryl Lalloo at (772) 215-1912.