Matt Keene

Survival Profile - Matt Keene

High school football lineman Matt Keene, 17, had just finished team practice when he mentioned he was having trouble breathing, then dropped onto the field and turned blue. For reasons still unknown, his heart had stopped. A coach radioed the school nurse, who called 9-1-1. Meanwhile, other coaches began CPR, and athletic trainers ran from an adjacent field with an AED. Within moments, they shocked Keene’s heart into beating.

Kimball Union Academy, a private school in New Hampshire, was prepared that afternoon in October 2006; officials had obtained two AEDs and were in the process of buying three more.

The grateful recipient of his school’s administrative foresight has since turned his youthful energy to getting more AEDs into public places: Keene has testified before Congress, raised $60,000, set up a foundation and equipped every school in his hometown of Berlin with the devices. “Not only do schools need AEDs,” Keene says, “but they need to have them near athletic events—on the fields, in arenas—close to where games are taking place.”

“If I can raise awareness that helps save even one life, it will be worth it,” says Matt, who is now a student at UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics.


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