Wednesday, September 5, 2012
September 4th, 2012: A Survivor
This news just came down the pike from Parent Heart Watch... while we were observing a solemn second "annniversary" of Aidan's passing and staking balloons in places where AEDs will be placed, a teen in Florida went into sudden cardiac arrest... and LIVED! It's uplifting to know that another family will be forever marking September 4th now, but as a day of thanks for another chance at living. We need more of these success stories-- which means more AEDs. Edited later today: we learned that the SCA event happened July 30th. Nonetheless, we're thrilled there's another survivor, particularly in that his life was saved because of the efforts of some wonderful people we've come to know...
The AED that saved this child had been donated by friends of ours from Parent Heart Watch. Andy and Martha-Lopez Anderson began the Saving Young Hearts organization after the sudden cardiac death of their 10-year-old son, Sean. Sean was casually rollerblading in the park when he collapsed suddenly. Martha and I have talked many times about the similarities between the way Sean and Aidan both suddenly, without signs, symptoms, or warnings, become victims of SCA. The Andersons, like Steve and I, have explored so many avenues in searching for answers as to why this happened to our boys, and they still, eight years later, have none.
The first time Martha told me the story of "that day," I pictured Sean rollerblading along the narrow paved paths that carve out the edges of the many playing fields in our East Brandywine Township park. Which is silly, because the Andersons live in Florida. But that's what I used as my frame of reference, and I've often wondered what would have been the outcome if Sean's park had had an AED available in February 2004. I think about him a lot as Steve and I near our goals of installing AEDs in our town park. Would Sean have been a survivor, too?
Someday, we hope, every park and public property will be equipped with AEDs. And when Steve and I dream about what it would take to protect all kids, all the time, from SCA, every home would have one, too, as regularly part of nuts-and-bolts safety gear as smoke detectors.
From yesterday's event in Florida and other AED success stories, dreams are starting to come true.
For EPSN's coverage of this story and more regarding SCA, click here.