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Drill Dr. Heart History



The History of Drill Dr. Heart

John Titus, Co-creator of Drill Dr. Heart


January 2, 2023, is a date in history many will remember when Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest in front of the world on Monday Night Football.  But sadly, my family has seen this all too many times before.  The most life-changing date for me; was June 12, 1995.  This is the date my mother, Lori Flanigan, passed from a cardiac arrest in our home.  I had just turned 13 years old, and tragedy had struck my family.  We did what we could to save her, called 911, CPR prayed, but to no avail that date.  

As my career developed in elementary education and coaching both club and College Volleyball, there was always the chance I would have to respond to an SCA again. CPR training is excellent, and AED training is too, but putting it all together with the adrenaline, panic, fear, and other people's response is a much different situation for the typical person.

My thoughts began to pivot to a more "teachable moment" related to the timeline, duties, and overall response to an SCA.  How do we ensure the next person benefits from what a horrible moment taught?  How do we prepare others for this event, which happens nearly 1000 times daily in the USA?  Who should know about this, and how do we tell them where to get information? 

My Aunt, Lisa Salberg, is the Founder and CEO of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association. Who better to partner with to build an action plan for schools, teams, community groups, and businesses to enact Drill Dr. Heart?  We created our first program in 2010, which has been implemented in communities nationwide. In light of current events, we have made some updates and created its webpage to share with the world.

I know my mother's death will never rest easy with me, but I also know that through our efforts over the last few decades, we have saved lives and will continue to do so by spreading this information and knowledge to the world.