David Belkin: Did We Win?

Survival Profile - David Belkin

Quick response by members of a pick-up basketball team and a school janitor saved David Belkin after his cardiac arrest in February 2007. The 65-year-old lawyer, who’d been pronounced in perfect health by his doctor nine days earlier, was playing a Sunday morning half-court game in an elementary school gym in Honesdale, Pa., when he collapsed. One of the other players, an emergency physician, tried to find Belkin’s pulse and couldn’t. Aware that the school district had outfitted each campus in the Poconos mountains community with an AED, the doctor started chest compressions and shouted for teammates to find the device. While one player called 9-1-1, another found the janitor, who rushed the AED to Belkin’s side. After just one shock, Belkin’s heart was beating again. “Did we win?” he asked when he awakened moments later. At the hospital, doctors installed a tiny internal defibrillator in his chest. Belkin knows that rapid action was key to his survival: “But for the AED being in that elementary school and being applied immediately, I know that I would not be here today.”

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The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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