Laurentian Child and Family Centre in Sudbury receives an AED
Author of the article: Mia Jensen The Sudbury Star
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone. That’s why two organizations have joined together to bring an AED to Laurentian Child and Family Centre, even if its littlest patrons aren’t at a very high risk.
An Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, is a device used to analyze and shock a person’s heart during a cardiac arrest. These devices have become more easily accessible in public spaces in the last few years. With verbal commands and easy to follow diagrams, AEDs are simple to use and essential for saving lives.
Laurentian Child and Family Centre is the first daycare in Sudbury to have an AED.
John McEachern, of the Chase McEachern Memorial Fund, speaks to reporters about an Automated External Defibrillator that was donated through the fund to Laurentian Child and Family Centre in Sudbury, Ont. on Monday August 12, 2019. Health Sciences North physicians Dr. Robert Ohle and his wife, Dr. Sarah McIsaac, who have an organization known as Northern City of Heroes which focusses on teaching CPR to the general public, secured the AED donation through the Chase McEachern Memorial Fund. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network PHOTO BY JOHN LAPPA /John Lappa/Sudbury Star
The defibrillator was donated by the Chase McEachern Memorial Fund, an organization that hopes to make AEDs accessible in all public spaces across Canada.
The foundation is run by the parents of Chase McEachern who was diagnosed with an atrial flutter in 2005. Chase was 12 when he collapsed during gym class and was rushed to the hospital due to his irregular, elevated heart rate. He was taken off a respirator six days later, having sustained severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen.
Chase’s goal was to start a campaign to make AEDs mandatory everywhere, even writing hockey commentator Don Cherry a letter asking for his support.
Though Chase died before his campaign took off, his parents are continuing his legacy.
“Chase and I had a conversation at the kitchen table,” says John McEachern, Chase’s father, “We were talking about fighting city hall, insurance, fundraising, all this stuff needed to get defibrillators. And all he said to me was ‘get it done’. So, from there on, I’m getting it done. One defibrillator at a time. I’m proud to carry it on in his name.”
Dr. Robert Ohle, of Health Sciences North, talks to children at Laurentian Child and Family Centre about an Automated External Defibrillator that was donated to the centre in Sudbury, Ont. on Monday August 12, 2019. Dr. Ohle and his wife, Dr. Sarah McIsaac, who have an organization known as Northern City of Heroes which focusses on teaching CPR to the general public, secured the AED donation through the Chase McEachern Memorial Fund. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network PHOTO BY JOHN LAPPA /John Lappa/Sudbury Star
Chase’s legacy also lives on in another way in Ontario. In 2007, the Chase McEachern Act passed. It mandated that a person could not be sued for using a defibrillator in good faith, thereby protecting bystanders trying to help someone in an emergency.
Northern City of Heroes is an organization run by Sudbury physicians Dr. Robert Olhe and Dr. Sarah McIsaac. It strives to raise awareness about the importance of CPR and provide accessible training in hopes of increasing the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Olhe says the AED being donated to the daycare is a big part of that goal.
“Everybody can do this,” says Olhe. “We had kids here the other day. We had kids as young as three who can recognize a cardiac arrest, call 911, call for an AED, and start CPR. This is not something that is complex, this is not something that is the realm of only people who can afford to do it.”