Near-death sparks campaign to install defibrillator at Community Hall
Mike Richards owes his life to his fellow karate club members. If it weren’t for their swift response, Mike said he would have likely not survived the heart attack he suffered during a Gabriola Kyokushin Karate Club practice in January. Club members administered CPR for about 10 minutes until first responders arrived with an automated external defibrillator.
Chance of survival after cardiac arrest declines by 7 to 10 per cent with each passing minute, says the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“I have lots to be thankful for,” Mike said. As a result of this experience, karate club members, including Mike’s wife, EJ Hurst, are raising funds to purchase an automated external defibrillator for the Community Hall where the club practices.
It is planned to have the AED accessible to everyone who uses the Hall.
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are lightweight, battery-operated, portable devices that check heart rhythm. They can also send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm to someone undergoing sudden cardiac arrest.
Currently the club has collected $450 through various fundraisers, including a Bring a Buddy Night to the karate club. An AED costs around $1,500.
Logistical details still need to be ironed out, including who would be responsible for battery monitoring and ensuring people are trained on how to operate the AED.
The club is open to suggestions the general public may have on fundraising ideas as well as any expertise people may have on which defibrillator model to purchase. Anyone who would like to donate can contact Mike at 250-247-8399 or firstname.lastname@example.org.