CORAM, N.Y. (FOX 5 NY) - Kathy Romano and her grandchildren are helping to save lives one ice-cold drink at a time. The good Samaritans are spending much of their hot summer days outside, running an old-fashioned lemonade stand. All the proceeds are going towards the purchase of a life-saving choking device called the LifeVac.
"Some of them don't even take a drink, but they hear the story, what we're doing it for, and they just give," Romano says.
All the proceeds are going towards the purchase of a life-saving choking device called the LifeVac.
"The Life Vac can be done on anyone. It's safe and it's effective. It's saved 25 lives in 25 tries," inventor Arthur Lih says. "We've saved an 11-month-old to a 92-year-old."
The portable suction device is easy to use and is similar to a plunger: You place it over the mouth, push, and the pressure helps to remove the airway obstruction.
Joannie Hugues has been advocating for the LifeVac ever since it first hit the market. She lost her 3-year-old godson to a choking incident back in 2003 and has since established the JT's Law Foundation in his memory. The nonprofit organization's goal is to educate, prevent, and combat child choking events.
"His death impacted me profoundly, and my family," Hugues says.
So far, about 30 schools on Long Island have added the LifeVac to their safety kits.
The life-saving tool has been placed in more than 200 schools across the nation.
Romano and her grandkids have already raised nearly $1,000, which is enough to purchase roughly three LifeVac devices, with help from the JT's Law Foundation.
"This has to be in every single home, school, everywhere," Romano says.
Her goal is to raise enough money for 19 LifeVac devices: One for every building in her grandchildren's school district.