It can happen any time. Any place. To anyone, at any age. Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. More than 350,000 people will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest this year. In most cases, the event does not happen in a healthcare setting where emergency help is readily available
An AED (automated external defibrillator) is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and its use is easily taught to people with no medical background.
The SoutheastHEALTH Ambassadors, an arm of the SoutheastHEALTH Foundation, recognize the importance of, and need for, additional AED devices in the region. Last year, after meeting with the Cape Girardeau Fire Department to learn more about AEDs, the Ambassadors chose to raise money exclusively for the HeartStrong Fund of the Foundation. With money raised from fundraising efforts such as “Coins for Cardiac” and a red wine and chocolate pairing the Ambassadors purchased 10 AEDs which were awarded through an application/greatest need process.
“We believe that heart health awareness is important and, after meeting with first responders, learned the vital role AEDs can play in any number of settings. We were pleased to be able to award the devices to a variety of organizations with the greatest need,” said Ambassadors President Kyle Thompson, Community Bank President with the Bank of Missouri in Jackson. He noted that organizations receiving the devices will be trained on their use.
One of the AED recipients is the Jackson R-2 School District Foundation. Merideth Pobst, director of the Foundation, said the continued growth of the school district also brings the need for additional AEDs. “We know the importance of having AEDs readily available for both school and public events. The district has some devices, but more are needed. We are so grateful to the Ambassadors for taking on this life-saving project.” Pobst said the exact placement for the AED has not been determined, but could be within a new FEMA safe room at an elementary school or at the baseball complex, to name just two. Consideration is also being given to sending the AED with Jackson sports teams traveling to other communities for competition.
AED recipients were Horizons Enrichment Center, Trinity Lutheran Church at Egypt Mills, Cape Public Schools Foundation, Trinity Lutheran Church at Friedheim, Doniphan R-1 School District, First General Baptist Church in Malden, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services, Old Town Cape, City of Cape Girardeau (Sportsplex/Shawnee Park Sports Complex) and Jackson R-2 School District Foundation.
With money raised from fundraising efforts the SoutheastHEALTH Ambassadors purchased 10 AEDs which were awarded to area organizations through an application/greatest need process. Shown here are recipients of the devices, SoutheastHEALTH physicians and staff and first responders.