Sue Hostler, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Award Recipient, Donates Defibrillator to Penn Hills High School Athletic Department

Sue Hostler, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Award Recipient, Donates Defibrillator to Penn Hills High School Athletic Department

PITTSBURGH, PA--Five years ago, Sue Hostler, of Bradford Woods, PA, helped save the life of Bob Hallinan, who had collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest in an elevator in a remote area of the Philadelphia airport. She had heard about “hands-only CPR,” and so she pushed hard and fast on the center of his chest for 17 minutes, while waiting for professional help. When EMTs arrived, they used their defibrillator to restore a normal heartbeat. Sue’s quick actions made the difference between life and death for the otherwise fit 25-year-old.

Sue was later recognized as winner of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s “People Saving People” award at a national conference. She received a ZOLL AED Plus to donate to a worthy organization.

On October 29th, she donated the automated external defibrillator (AED) to the Penn Hills, PA, High School Athletic Department during a school board meeting at Linton Middle School.

“Everyone should be trained in CPR and the use of AEDs and we need to do everything we can to increase the number of AEDs—and access to them—since they can have a significant impact on survival," Sue said. "We all need to be willing to take action—call 911, start CPR, and use an AED. My hope is this school never has to deal with someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, but statistics say it will happen. If it does, my hope is that this AED, along with a program of training, may help save a life.”

The Foundation has a special connection with Penn Hills High School. One of its dedicated volunteers, Matt Strauss, was responsible for raising funds to secure an AED for the athletic department when he was a student athletic trainer. In 2003, at the age of 17, he used the AED to save the life of sports spectator, Martin Gannon, then 48. Martin now serves on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Matt’s sister Stephanie now serves as the school’s athletic director.

Others involved in Martin’s rescue who attended the school board meeting Monday night included Mike Rogal, MD, team doctor, and Carl Sinkula, former athletic director.

Martin shared his reflections at the AED presentation Monday. “I had the good fortune to benefit from Matt (Strauss)'s foresight. I got to live the past 15 years, see my children graduate from high school, go to college, and grow up. Matt is a fine young man, and I am forever thankful,” he said.

“We are grateful to Sue Hostler and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation for the lifesaving donation of an automated external defibrillator,” said Stephanie Strauss, athletic director. “We will now be better prepared to save lives threatened by sudden cardiac arrest.”

SOURCE: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

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