Have you ever been in a situation where someone needed first aid, or CPR, and you just didn’t know what to do? That’s exactly what happened to CPRWrap founder Felicia Jackson, who turned that panic moment into an innovative and live-saving startup.
Felicia Jackson experienced something no parent should have to experience: her 2 year old son stopped breathing in the backseat of her car. Despite her experience as a medical professional with extensive first aid training, Felicia froze – a natural reaction to such a traumatic situation. Thankfully her husband was able to swoop into action to save their little one, and a brilliant idea came from the near tragedy. That idea was CPRWrap.
CPRWrap is a simple tool that can be used by any one in any first aid situation requiring CPR. CPRWrap is a translucent overlay that uses simple illustrations to guide the user through the four American Heart Association recommended steps to CPR. Made with medical grade materials, the device even has a sanitary one-way mouthpiece to protect the user from bodily fluids and drug residue. Its compact design make it easy to store or carry around so no matter where or when an emergency happens, you’re prepared.
CPRWrap is now distributed nationally on Walmart.com and also counts Trio Safety, HCA Parkridge Hospital, CHI Memorial Hospital, Access Family Pharmacy, Hamilton County School System, Greater Collegedale School Systems and Skills Train Distribution in South Africa among its partners. Felicia was also one of a select few startup founders to participate in the Techstars Austin accelerator program, where she received mentorship from experts and advisors in the fields of entrepreneurship, startups, community leadership, corporate innovation, and venture capital. Originally founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee, CPRWrap has now officially launched out of Austin, Texas.
Says Felicia, “I started CPRWrap because I did not want another parent to witness and be helpless when someone’s life hung in the balance,” said Jackson. “My vision for CPRWrap extends so far that I can no longer see where it ends. A few years ago my life consisted of taking care of my family – now the world is my family and I have much work to do. Everyone deserves a chance to live.”
We got the chance to chat with Felicia about this amazing startup idea and why her work is so important.
How did you get involved with the work you currently do?
Before I started my company, I was working in the medical industry. My life changed when my two-year-old son almost died from a choking incident. I was CPR certified and prepared to handle any emergency until I had my baby in my hands, unable to help him because I forgot my training. I knew I did not want to experience that again and didn’t want anyone else to feel helpless and this is what prompted me to invent CPRWrap.
What is your WHY?
Anything worth doing will always have a “Why”. I push forward because I know I have something that is bigger than me. Everything in my life has prepared me for my role today and whenever I feel like the world is against me and the obstacles are too hard to handle, I can always look back at my “Why” and keep it moving.
What are the biggest challenges or setbacks you’ve had to face?
The challenges and setbacks have been many, but, the one challenge that had a direct impact on my business was the extreme difficulty finding investment. Investors were not investing in minority, female-owned businesses. I was now part of the statistic that so many female founders talk about.
What piece of advice would you give to someone trying to do what you do, or trying to follow their own dreams?
I would advise anyone wanting to follow their dreams to first, make the decision to do it! Surround yourself with mentors, advisors and people that are making moves because those are the people that will pull you out of the trenches when you fall and give you advice when you need it. And most important, take care of yourself because your health is EVERYTHING. You want to be around to reap the rewards of your hard work.
If you could pick one charitable organization to ask our readers to donate to or volunteer with, which would it be?
I would ask the readers to donate or volunteer their time to the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Chattanooga. They provide families of sick children a place to live, food and anything they need to be closer to their sick children.