On September 5, 2010 my family’s life was changed forever by cardiovascular disease. My husband was a long time basketball coach, active golfer, and constantly working at things around and in the house. He had just had a full medical checkup with normal lab results. He was feeling “funny” that day and collapsed in our living room from a heart attack. I called 911 and began CPR. We have no local ambulance service in our rural town and it was over 50 minutes until they arrived. It was too late.
Since then we started a fundraiser to purchase AEDs for use in the community and have raised enough to buy three AEDs. Two were placed in the police cruisers and one was given to the athletic trainer at the high school. We also paid for CPR training for all the students in 10th, 11th and 12th grade in our high school. We thought this was the best way to get more CPR certified people out into the community and we've even had our “first save” with the AED in the police cruiser.
This will be an ongoing fundraising process to pay for replacement pads and yearly maintenance for the AEDs, but my family is committed to preventing what happened to us from happening to another family. Ambulance service in our town may never again be a reality but we have decided to focus on training as many people in our community as possible and keeping AEDs where they are accessible.