Brittney Burns – Staff Writer

Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Cardiac arrest – an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs – is a leading cause of death.

When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation or CPR from someone nearby. Almost 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

“Knowing CPR can make all the difference in someone’s life,” said LT Gilbreath, owner of Macon Appliance Mart. “We wanted to partner with the owners of Twice as Nice to offer the opportunity for people here in Macon County to get CPR certified and potentially save a life one day.”

If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend, according to the American Heart Association. Seventy percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in private homes. Unfortunately, only about 46 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives.

CPR aids in maintaining that vital flow of blood to the brain and heart. It also aids in increasing the duration of electric shock provided via a defibrillator, thereby making the process more effective. Within five to six minutes after a victim has experienced cardiac arrest and if within that time span, no CPR is performed, followed by defibrillation, the victim might further suffer from brain death crisis.

CPR is not only meant for resuscitating a victim of cardiac arrest. Seven million people, including children and adults suffer disabling injuries every year in their homes or within similar environments. This is caused by accidents that might require the use of CPR.

Twice as Nice, a children’s resale store located in Dillsboro began offering CPR classes after their customers inquired about becoming certified. The course is taught by store owner and Sylva Police Officer Daniel Peoples, who is a certified instructor. After being contacted by a family in Franklin needing certification to become foster parents, Twice as Nice decided to host a Franklin class. The CPR certification class was held Tuesday night at Macon Appliance Mart in Franklin.

Upon completion of the instructor-led course, the student receives a certificate care for adult, child and infant CPR and AED use.

“We wanted our customers and the community to learn the proper techniques for CPR and AED use,” said Tj Burns, co-owner of Twice as Nice. “As a mother, it’s my worst fear that something may happen to one of my children and I not be prepared. Being CPR-certified lets me sleep a little easier at night knowing that if I was ever faced with a situation that would require it, I would be prepared to save my child.”

Twice as Nice plans to hold more events in Franklin in the future. For more information, visit