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WA Cardiac Arrest Survivor Honored for Advocacy Work by American Heart Association

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Congratulations to American Heart Association (AHA) volunteer Eric Rothenberg of Mercer Island, Washington. He is the recipient of the AHA's Advocacy Award, one of the top honors given to volunteers in the Western States Affiliate, which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. The award was presented at the AHA's annual volunteer awards dinner in Los Angeles on June 6, 2016.

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Eric serves as chair of the AHA's Washington State Advocacy Committee and was honored for exceptional grassroots advocacy achievement in support of a historic increase in funding for the Washington State Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program. His leadership helped to secure an annual expenditure on bicycle/pedestrian projects of $10.25 million.

Eric has been a volunteer for the AHA's Puget Sound Division for many years and was also instrumental in lobbying for required CPR instruction in high schools, which became Washington state law in 2014.

"I'm honored and humbled to receive this award from the AHA, and thrilled to represent our great group of volunteers and the wonderful team at the AHA in Washington," he said.

In 2009 Rothenberg, a healthy and active father of two, survived sudden cardiac arrest while playing tennis at a local club. He credits quick action from bystanders for saving his life. "Fortunately the club has two AEDs (automated external defibrillators) and there were a few doctors playing on adjacent courts. They began CPR within about 30 seconds of me going down and a friend ran and got an AED. They shocked me twice and I was revived before the medics arrived," he recalls. "Without CPR and that AED, the outcome would have been very different."

The American Heart Association relies on volunteers to carry out its mission in communities nationwide. To get involved with the Puget Sound Division, call (206) 336-7200 or visit www.heart.org/pugetsound. Contact any of our offices around the country by visiting www.heart.org.

Learn Hands-Only CPR: just two steps to saving a life