15 Lifesaving Stories Where Using an AED and CPR Changed the World for the Better
There is no denying, when an AED and CPR are used in a cardiac emergency, lives are saved! The use of a defibrillator within a couple minutes or starting chest compressions and breaths right away can double the chances of survival. It is estimated by the Heart and Stroke Foundation that 35,000 cases of cardiac arrest occur each and every year in Canada. And, WITH the assistance and immediate action of those nearby: paramedics, mothers, neighbours, friends, siblings, and even children – the outcome of those cardiac arrests can be very different.
Take a look at these 15 lifesaving stories where an AED or CPR was used to save a life and changed world!
1. Greg Page from ‘The Wiggles’ – Virtual CPR Education
After collapsing to cardiac arrest at the end of a performance of ‘The Wiggles’, Greg Page is now making it his goal to teach Australians how important CPR is. After Greg was given CPR by the cast and crew, he was rushed to the hospital where he made a full recovery. Knowing how close he was to death, Greg has now made it his mission to teach CPR virtually through his non-profit organization, ‘Heart of the Nation,’ which will take place mid-September 2020!
2. Nathan Howard – CPR Awareness on Social Media
When Nathan Howard came across a man unconscious on the side of the road, he quickly realized that the person needed immediate attention. After calling 911 he began CPR, and with his quick actions saved the man’s life! After the man recovered he connected with Nathan and together they shared their story on social media to impress upon the public how important it is to get trained in CPR. The social media post went viral and created awareness for this lifesaving story and CPR with thousands!
3. Grant Steed – Advocating for AEDs in Schools
In 2017, Grant Steed, a ninth grader at the time, suffered a cardiac arrest on the baseball field and was lucky that there was an AED nearby. Grant now looks back at his experience and realizes how fortunate he was to have received the attention of an AED. It further inspired him to raise awareness for AED’s and he is now working hard to encourage schools to install AEDs so other students and athletes may be protected in emergencies!
4. Bob Harper from ‘The Biggest Loser’ – Advocating for CPR Training and AEDs
Despite being an incredibly healthy individual, celebrity trainer Bob Harper from ‘The Biggest Loser’ collapsed during a workout to cardiac arrest. Those in the gym quickly rushed to his aid providing CPR until emergency help arrived. Their quick actions were just the thing to save his life. After recovering, Bob realized just how close he had come to death, and recognized the critical impact that CPR had on saving his life. Now Bob is speaking up on talk shows, interviews, and magazines to encourage EVERYONE to go and get trained in CPR and learn how to use an AED so that they too can make a difference and save someone’s life!
5. Julie Walker – SCA Education with ‘Peyton’s Law’
Often if AEDs are not nearby and CPR is not performed, cardiac arrest stories may not end in survival. This was the case for 19-year-old Peyton Walker who passed away to cardiac arrest. From this tragedy, Peyton’s mother stepped in to change the world for the better, creating the Peyton Walker Foundation! This foundation has made strides in the cardiac field and has recently signed ‘Peyton’s Law’, which will work to educate student-athletes about sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of EKG testing!
6. The Mikey Network – AED Awareness and Installation
After the loss of Michael Salem to a cardiac arrest, it was his friends and family that identified the need for more AEDs in public areas. In memory of their friend, they created The Mikey Network which is a Canadian non-profit organization that seeks to increase awareness of AEDs, provide education, and install AEDs into public locations across Canada! The organization has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to put towards the cause and is helping the public through programs, AED funding, and community support!
7. Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation – AED Donations
When Micheal Sage suffered a cardiac arrest there was no AED nearby, and despite how quickly his coworkers used CPR, they were not able to save his life. His family created the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation – a foundation that raises funds for AEDs and has now donated over 200 AEDs to public locations to help improve the odds of survival for cardiac arrest patients! They are working to make sure that further loss to cardiac arrest can be avoided, and are changing the world one AED at a time!
8. Laura Metro – CPR Training
Seeing our loved ones in trouble is a terrifying experience – one that inspires parents to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. This is the experience that Laura Metro had with her son who almost drowned. Thankfully someone with CPR skills was there and was able to step in and save his life. Now Laura is focused on ensuring that others in the community know what to do if these emergencies occur! Within her area Laura offers ‘CPR Parties’ to teach these life-saving skills so no parent is left feeling helpless again!
9. May Tanck – CPR Training Advocacy
After seeing her husband experience a cardiac arrest and having to use CPR with her son to save his life, May Tanck is on a mission to spread word of CPR’s importance! She recognized that the only thing that saved her husband’s life that day was her knowledge and training of CPR, and is now encouraging others to learn it too! With her local church, May is now hosting a ‘Friends and Family CPR class’ to those in the church, the surrounding neighbourhood, and others interested in updating their skills!
10. Karen Acompora – Heart Protection and AED Advocacy
After losing her son over 20 years ago to a heart emergency during a lacrosse game, Karen Acompora has made it her mission to make the sport safer in every aspect for the heart. Over the years she has advocated for greater chest protection equipment as well as the presence of an AED at every game. With her son’s story, she is reaching out to schools to encourage them to get an AED and protect their athletes should an emergency occur!
11.Darren Jackson – Fundraising for an AED
Sometimes action can be taken before a life even needs to be saved – that is the case with Darren Jackson from Mansfield Woodhouse in the UK. After discussing his niece’s homework of where the nearest AED is, he was stunned to find out that the closest one was 16 minutes away. Suffering from hypertension himself, he realized that this was not good enough and decided to make a change. Darren is now working to collect donations so that he can purchase a new AED unit for the immediate area. How is he raising funds? By using his COVID hair as motivation to collect donations – if they collect enough to purchase an AED, he will shave it off!
12. Dad Club London – AED Fundraising
A group of dads, $50,000 raised, and a TON of schools that now have AEDs! It was after a tragic incident of the loss of 15-year-old Andrew who died of cardiac arrest while playing soccer that a group of dads decided AEDs were needed for the schools in London. Putting forth their efforts of bottle drives, collecting donations, and lemonade stands, they were able to raise a massive $50,000 which supplied EVERY high school in the city with an AED as well as the remaining money putting AEDs in 12 elementary schools!
13. Christy Silva with Aidan’s Heart Foundation – Heart Screenings
After the sudden loss of her young son to cardiac arrest, Christy Silva wanted to ensure that no other family experienced what she did, and created the Aidan’s Heart Foundation, named after her son. The foundation works to screen young children’s hearts for free (as this is not routinely done by doctors). So far, she has helped to screen over 1,800 children that will help to identify if they are at risk for heart disease or cardiac problems. This mother’s work is making a difference and changing the world by taking precautions when it comes to children’s heart health!
14. Kate Abbott – Water Safety and CPR Awareness
When mother Kate Abbott almost lost her son to drowning, she knew that she would never be the same. Her son was found unconscious in the pool, and after calling 911 immediately, her instincts kicked in and she began CPR right away. She continued on and switched out with a neighbour, and finally her son began breathing, coughing out water. Now, Kate is doing her best to advocate for CPR as well as water safety, and is encouraging everyone to ACT and not hesitate. CPR saved a life, and it can do it again, so she is encouraging everyone to get trained and learn how to stay safe by the water!
15. PeeWee Orange Crush Team – Fundraising for an AED
After hearing of a cardiac arrest incident that happened in the local high school where an AED saved a life, the PeeWee Orange Crush girls hockey team decided that there needed to be greater access to these life-saving devices outside too. Together, and with the community, they raised enough money and installed a SaveStation AED as the first outdoor AED available to the public! With this new defibrillator, the team hopes to inspire other businesses in the area to take initiative and install more AEDs to have the ability to save even more lives!
With a little bit of love and training, we have the opportunity to change the world! Let these stories inspire you to get trained in CPR, learn how to use an AED, or install a defibrillator in a location near you!
You never know how it could change the world for the better!