SIMPLY WHY WE DO IT:
“On the morning of May 21, 2019 I had told a coworker I didn’t feel right, couldn’t put into words just how I felt but I was off,” said Teresa Runkel. “At 8:30 I was walking my students outside to watch the Special Olympic torch make its run past our school and the next 15 days are a lost memory! “
“I collapsed to the floor with a cardiac arrest! I owe my life to the fast actions of my Assistant Principal who by the grace of God was standing at the end of the hall and immediately started CPR,” Runkel said. “Teachers cleared the students as the nurse rushed with the AED placed at Fox Meadow Elementary by the Community Health Education Foundation. They began the shocks and continued CPR until the ambulance arrived.”
“Thank You” seems like two small words but when people and organizations have done something with the magnitude as huge as saving your life those words grow enormous!”
“God had everything lined up that day. I am a 1 in 7 statistic of surviving a cardiac arrest. I have a life story to write and because of the Community Health Education Foundation’s AED & my FME family, I am given the pen back to finish the remaining chapters!”
Church is where some people go to experience new life, in the spiritual sense. But for one Jonesboro man, it was the place where he was literally brought back to life. Phil Cook, 79, was visiting with fellow church members after Wednesday night Bible Study when he felt a “fuzzy kind of feeling in my head” and reached back to catch himself on a table behind him. “That’s the last thing I remember until they were loading me in the ambulance.”
In the minutes between the fuzzy feeling and being loaded into an ambulance, Cook had suffered sudden cardiac death. He is alive today because of fellow church members quick reaction to begin CPR and the use of an AED donated by the Community Health Education Foundation just a few months before.
“When you get something like an AED, it’s kind of like buying insurance – you hope you’ll never have to use it, but it’s just a relief to have it there if you do,” Ronald Wheeless, who used the AED, said.
“After getting home from the hospital, my granddaughter said “PaPa I sure missed you,” said Cook. “Hearing that this time meant more to me than you’ll ever know!”
AED Placement Program's Future:
The Community Health Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that relies solely on donations, grants and fundraising events and unfortunately, due to COVID19 our ability to host education programs and fund-raising events has been jeopardized. And, as if a pandemic were not enough, in March 2020 Jonesboro AR, CHEF’s base and location of the majority of its in a person fund raising events was devastated by a tornado. As a non-profit group CHEF has been committed to education and service to Northeast Arkansas for over 16 years, and now, we are ready to grow and enhance our program more.
CHEF began in 2005, working together with our cardiovascular education and screening, was the AED Placement Program. Our volunteers have worked hard to place 77 Automated External Defibrillators throughout Northeast Arkansas in schools, churches and community facilities, along with training their AED teams in CPR and how to use the AED. The 77 AEDs are in Clay, Craighead, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Poinsett, Randolph and Sharp counties. In the past year alone, in just the city of Jonesboro, we are aware of three lives that have been saved in our community by these devices – two in 2019 and the third in February of this year (2020), both male and female, ranging in age from 13-77.
CHEF has now launched the second phase of AED Placement with a program named “And the Beat Goes On" . The goal of this program is to continue placement of free AEDs, especially in community facilities, such as high school gyms, performing arts centers, community centers, public parks, and churches.
In addition, the AED Placement Program has offered to purchase AEDs, if needed, in for profit businesses and fitness facilities through the Foundation at our cost only, with free CPR and AED training. To date we have placed 14 AED’s in for- profit businesses.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming an estimated 325,000 lives each year. SCA kills 1,000 people a day or one person every two minutes. It is estimated that 95 percent of victims of cardiac arrest die before they reach a hospital or other source of emergency help.
It is estimated that more than 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. A victim's chances of survival are reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation. Few attempts at resuscitation succeed after 10 minutes. Far too many lives being lost each year, especially given that the issue is fundamentally one of response time
AED use can make the difference between life and death. According to the American Heart Association and European Resuscitation Council, a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victim requires defibrillation to stop ventricular fibrillation, an often-fatal heart condition. In fact, the only known treatment for sudden cardiac arrest is a shock from a defibrillator, administered as quickly as possible.
There are two critical factors in whether a person survives when going into sudden cardiac arrest-time and location of the device. CHEF is researching, and would like to pilot, a new available program to easily identify public access of AEDs throughout the community. PulsePoint AED program which is a simple yet sophisticated tool to record and share AED location information is now available through a communications device app. A person can help even before a life is in danger by easily identifying public access AEDs throughout your community. Direct citizen participation can also help create greater location awareness and mindfulness of the important role AEDs play in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival.
We are asking you to make a donation today and help keep the AED Placement Program funded making sure the beat does on!