Save a life, get certified in CPR

By Ashley Pereyra



“You go down. You get shocked and then you walk away,” said Dr. James Henderson, professor of economics.

Heart attacks and strokes continue to be two of the leading causes of death in the United States, according to preliminary data for 2011 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. In 2010, heart disease accounted for 597,689 deaths and strokes took 129,476.

Throughout the semester, the Campus recreation department offers a class on CPR and automated external defibrillator certification to combat this problem.

These figures are familiar to Dr. James Henderson, professor of economics, who experienced an asymptomatic heart attack while playing basketball at the McLane Student Life Center in 2005.

“I was walking back to the court to play again. It was 3-5 minutes since we finished. And I passed out,” Henderson said.

Three fellow players came to Henderson’s aid — Josh Waits, the university’s CPR trainer at the time, Zach Beaty, a Spanish teacher at Waco High School and son of Baylor philosophy chair Michael Beaty, and Danny Brabham, an assistant track coach. All of them were CPR trained, but Beaty’s certification had just expired.

“I think it was divine intervention. I would have died if this had happened anywhere else,” Henderson said.

The grants that the department has secured ensured that the defibrillators were in the building that day.

Henderson said people should know how to do CPR.

The $25 class prepares students to encounter adult, child or infant casualties, according to the campus recreation website. By the end of the course, they also should be able to recognize and treat either heart attack or stroke victims. Baylor SLC staff said for successful completion, students will receive a Course Completion Card in person after class.

Currently, Ben Robert, head of aquatics, teaches the class. To sign up, visit the SLC front desk with your Baylor ID card and an accepted form of payment—cash, check, BearBucks, Faculty or staff payroll deduction and credit card.

The upcoming classes are 6-8:30 p.m. Feb. 22 and 2-4:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in 308 McLane Student Life Center. For more dates, visit