Posted on 01/12/2021
Dugan Chandler, survivor
Dugan Chandler, survivor

Dugan Chandler, 16, of Victoria, Texas, suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on Friday, October 16, 2020. He had been competing at a youth rodeo, but immediately afterwards, he collapsed. A bystander, who happened to be a firefighter, started CPR, and another bystander had someone grab the automated external defibrillator (AED) he happened to carry in his car. He quickly used the device and after one shock, Dugan was resuscitated. He spent a few days in the hospital, received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), and was back to classes at St. Joseph School in Victoria on Tuesday.

Dugan later worked with fellow students in the school’s Med-Pro Club to design and sell t-shirts to raise money for his school and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, raising nearly $600 for SCAF in a few short weeks. “I am thankful to be alive and to spread awareness at 16-years-old,” said Dugan.

Dugan Chandler at rodeo
Dugan Chandler at rodeo competition

His mother, Karlissa Chandler, said his case is already increasing awareness in their community through greater attention to CPR-AED training, AED placement, and emergency response planning. “It is a miracle that the right people were there at the right time to help,” she said. “We plan to keep working to spread awareness so that others will survive.”

St. Joseph School celebrated “Dugan Day” today.

“We are so happy to know that Dugan survived SCA and is doing well,” said Mary Newman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation president. “And we are so grateful that Dugan took the initiative to raise funds to support our mission to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and help save lives.”