Kayla Burt, Portland, OR – 20 at time of event (2002)
It was New Year’s Eve, and her basketball team was staying over to celebrate. But Kayla never saw the festivities. She had freshly brushed teeth, and a brush with death. Loree Payne, her best friend, watched Kayla fall face down between the bed and the TV—they all thought it was a joke. But it wasn’t.
None of her teammates knew CPR, but they’d seen it on TV. How hard could it be? Someone called 9-1-1, and luckily the operator gave instructions on the correct technique. The EMTs were there within minutes. Kayla is proud that she lived in Seattle. That city is among the best in the country for cardiac arrest survival, chiefly because of their Medic One program.
April 17, 2008 –VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI personally accepted the gift of an automated external defibrillator (AED) from Gintaras Vaisnys and Fabio Rangoni, representatives of a U.S. defibrillator company.
Vaisnys and Rangoni met with the Pope at a recent papal audience where Vaisnys presented the AED while Rangoni explained to the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics how defibrillators can save victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
“Pope Benedict was genuinely interested and immediately grasped how a defibrillator can save lives,” Vaisnys said.
Vatican City is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations: approximately 17,000 visitors arrive each day to see St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Gardens and Grottos, and other attractions.
April 17, 2008–In a first for local schools, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board will soon place in its high school athletic departments a dozen automated external defibrillators donated by area medical groups
The first of the devices will be donated to the School Board today in the memory of Glen Oaks High School student-athlete Shannon Veal, who died Feb. 18 after collapsing during a basketball game. The first automated external defibrillator, or AED, will go to Glen Oaks High.
After learning about Veal’s tragic death — believed to be caused by a heart condition, David Carmouche, MD, persuaded eight area medical groups to donate about $20,000 together to buy the 12 devices with the help of the Kiwanis civic organization.
Lee Curtes, Hartford, WI – 54 at time of event (2000)
Lee would find it hard to choose a better place to die. He was 12,000 feet up on top of Belle’s Camp with his skis on, looking at Vail’s Blue Sky Basin. Luckily, Lee gets to repeat the visit every year, and meet with the people who saved his life.
April 16, 2008–WASHINGTON–Emergency legislation requiring the installation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in dozens of D.C. government buildings was withdrawn at the last minute Tuesday for further study.
Less than a week after the death of a 10-year-old boy in a D.C. public school gym, the council was set to consider an emergency bill mandating AEDs in 52 District recreation centers and libraries at a cost of roughly $250,000.
But Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas pulled it back for two weeks with the expectation that it will be expanded to all public buildings, including schools.
Thomas said the issue took on an urgent nature after the Thursday incident at LaSalle Elementary School in Northeast.
Our children all died suddenly.
Their hearts just stopped one day.
One minute they were with us—
Then taken swift away.
We pray they are in heaven,
Just waiting for us there.
And though we know this in our souls,
The loss is hard to bear.
We never knew they were at risk—
We never thought to ask.
We trusted all authorities,
Not bringing them to task.
But now we know, and pain is deep—
So deep we can’t convey.
And though we try to move ahead,
We miss them every day.
So we’re harnessing our sorrow,
We’re channeling our pain—
So that their lives—so quickly lost—
Will never be in vain.
To save the lives of other kids
Is what we have to do—
Linda Dickson, Florissant, MO – 36 at time of event (2007)
For Linda, it was a normal Thursday in March 2007, remarkable only for a nasty headache that lasted all day. It threatened to upset her Church board meeting that night, but not in the manner that it eventually did.
Barbara Copeland, Pasadena, MD – 37 at time of event (1998)
Ten years ago, Barbara Copeland had a secret. It was so secret that not even she knew it. Her father may have, but he passed in the 1980s. Her first indication was an erratic heartbeat. The doctor told her she was suffering anxiety and to take some prescription pills. So she did, for several months.
Amanda Brown, Grand Canyon, AZ – 30 at time of event (2006)
Amanda is used to living on the edge—the edge of a crater. Actually, it was the south lip of the Grand Canyon. This small community is separated from the big smoke by a helicopter trip in emergencies. A normal Sunday evening after Thanksgiving quickly turned into a lifetime of surprises for Amanda. She had put the two girls to bed after they’d helped prepare the Christmas decorations, and remembers washing the dishes.
But, she woke up in Flagstaff Medical Center, and everything in between is merely hearsay to her. “And I can deny any of it,” she says in jest.
Tammy Reather, Broken Arrow, OK – 37 at time of event (October 23, 2007)
I am a healthy and young 37-year-old wife and Mom to six teens, and I am a nurse. On October 23, 2007, I was dropping off my girls at soccer practice when I experienced an SCA (sudden cardiac arrest). It was two weeks to the day since I lost my Dad.
Two women came to my van when the engine was revving and noticed I was unresponsive. A doctor just happened to be walking by and he removed me from the van and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. It took four shocks with a defibrillator to bring me back.