Felicia Jackson: How a Mother Leaned into her personal tragedy and created a life saving tool for the masses
Nothing motivates a mother into action more than when her child is in danger, and her maternal superpowers are being held back by sheer panic. With a medical background, recent CPR training certification and a firm belief of taking care of others, Felicia couldn’t imagine that she would not be able to take care of her son in an emergency situation quickly. Unfortunately, two-year-old Markel laid helpless as he was rendered unconscious on the side of the road while his mother grew hysterical and in tears. Unable to breathe and communicate his life-threatening situation, Felicia’s husband took the leadership role and performed CPR which saved Markel’s life and dislodged the piece of candy that he was unable to swallow.
After the traumatizing experience of not being mentally prepared to perform CPR on her son, Felicia turned her life’s work of taking care of others into action by creating CPRWrap. This vivacious mother of three has proactively created a solution to address the 350,000 cardiac arrests taking place each year by inventing a revolutionary aid that simplifies CPR down to just four steps and is easy for everyone to use. This tool walks you through everything from proper hand placement to depth of chest compressions while creating a protective barrier between the CPR provider and recipient.
As Felicia took the leap to create her life-changing product in 2016, she struggled with the necessary resources such as business acumen, capital and a network of other founders and investors that could share her experience. Even in 2018, she would encounter a VC firm in her hometown of Chattanooga who had never had an African-American female entrepreneur pitch to them until now. Felicia was breaking boundaries in more ways than creating a life-changing healthcare product.
With a stroke of luck, Felicia met Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, CEO of EnrichHER while she was speaking on a panel at CO.LAB, a nonprofit startup accelerator focusing on the Southeast Tennessee region. As Felicia describes, “Meeting Dr. Novellus was a Godsend. Wherever this woman is, we need to be. Because she makes things happen”. With the intuitive mindset, Felicia dropped everything in Chattanooga and made a trip to Atlanta to get exposure to the EnrichHER community and platform. She was blown away by the amount of incredible women founders concentrated in one place and that EnrichHER provided a platform for these women to coexist and support one another. From there, she was asked to be a pitch contestant during one of the EnrichHER events and gained exposure to a broader audience of founders and funders. Felicia had found her golden ticket- an introduction to an exec at Delta which solidified a fifteen-minute meeting that lasted over four hours. Delta is now on track to become one of CPRWrap’s signature clients and a huge fan of Felicia’s relentless work! With ambition and a community of empowered female entrepreneurs, every woman can follow her dreams and change the world. Congratulations to Felicia and thank you for bringing positive social impact to the EnrichHER community.
Katie Shannon is a team member of EnrichHER, a platform that helps women get funding to grow incredible ventures through ecosystem building (EnrichHER Spark) and capital (EnrichHER Funding). EnrichHER enables accredited and non-accredited investors to lend to women-led businesses
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