Local entrepreneur and inventor Felicia Jackson recently auditioned to be on the business pitch television show "Shark Tank," and whether she makes the show or not, she's moving passionately toward production, she said.
Her product is called CPR Lifewrap, which is a disposable plastic sleeve that covers the torso of a person in need of CPR. It has a mouth barrier—which guards against bodily fluids that can be exchanged during mouth to mouth—and an outline that shows the user where to place hands for proper CPR execution. It also has simple instructions embossed on the product.
Jackson is also trying to raise money for her product.
Click here to read more and see her Go Fund Me page.
"This drive—I don't know where it's coming from, but it's like I have to get this product out and I have to get it ASAP," she said.
Jackson is a physical therapist assistant and has been working in the medical field for about 20 years. She's working with co-worker Anthony Iwanczk to launch the product.
She also recently completed a LAUNCH business class to prepare for the process. And she's applied for a Causeway grant.
Part of the inspiration for her product came from family experiences.
"My niece committed suicide, and I'm not sure if my sister-in-law and nephew knew how to do CPR," she said.
Another scary incident involved her son. Although Jackson gets CPR-recertified every two years, Jackson didn't immediately fall back on her training when her son choked and lost consciousness, she said.
"The only thing I could think to do was shake him," she said. "That was scary, but we revived him."
Jackson has a mock-up design of her product that she will soon approve and send to a manufacturer so she can test it to see if improvements need to be made.
Soon, she'll find out if she gets the Causeway grant, and she's also waiting to hear whether she will make it onto "Shark Tank."
She said that thousands apply and judges narrow it down to about 150 people. But not even all those people get to go on the show before the "sharks," she also said.
She's going through her CPR recertification program now and hoping that "something so simple can help potentially save a life."
She's determined to get her product out there.
"I'm not stopping," she said. "I'm going full steam ahead."