This is the story of how an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) not only saved my life in St. Louis, but will no doubt help save lives some 500 miles away!
My name is Carroll Hambric, age 57, of Benton, Arkansas. My good friend, Chris Villines, some other buddies and myself had really looked forward to spending a few days in St. Louis, watching the Cardinals play San Francisco at Busch Stadium. We checked into our hotel rooms on July 6th, the day of the first game, and everyone was in great spirits everyone except me who was just not feeling right. I was surprisingly tired and I was having trouble catching my breath. It didnt feel it was serious at the time and I didnt say anything be-cause I didnt want to ruin our fun or worry anyone. I work in con-struction and although I was pretty big guy, about 6 3 tall and 287 pounds I considered myself to be strong and healthy. Up to that time I had no reason to consider otherwise, especially regarding my heart. I figured it was indigestion or maybe the summer heat. I tried to take a nap before we met to leave for the game, but I was too uncomfortable to sleep. Well, no problem, I thought. Ill sleep great tonight.
We drove to the stadium and before the game started, several of the guys headed up to the concession stand. I felt too tired to go with them so I found some shade. After a few minutes I felt better and slowly headed up the stairs to join them. I caught up with my friends on the concession line and the next thing that happened was ...
well, the truth is, I dont remember the next thing that happened. Chris says I just dropped like a stone!
Someone came forward and tried to check my breathing and pulse. They could find neither. They immediately started giving me chest compressions, but it was clear even that was not going to be enough. Several people notified stadium personnel that an ambulance was needed immediately and within just a few moments someone from Busch Stadium arrived. And here is where I got REALLY lucky as in lucky to be alive! They were carrying a portable Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Chris and the others watched nervously as they opened the lid and immediately placed the pads on my chest. Chris says he was surprised to hear the clear, verbal instructions coming from the defibrillator itself. My rescuer was simply doing exactly what the automated defibrillator was telling them to do, including where to place the electrodes and when to press the button that sent the electric shock.
Even more amazing, the first shock did the trick. I'm told I regained consciousness immediately and as strange as it sounds, I actually remember feeling great as soon as I came to.
That was several months ago. At my doctors orders, I have not gone back to work yet but plan to soon. I am watching my diet and getting the right kind of exercise. I also wear a pacemaker and a miniature defibrillator implant. I am, of course, incredibly grateful to all the strangers, professionals and friends who came to my assistance. It is still amazing to me that so many qualified people were nearby and willing to help. Im especially thankful for the Automated External Defibrillator technology that saved my life, I was told without it, I would not be telling this story.
And Chris? He was so impressed with the effectiveness and selfguid-ing simplicity of the AED, he urged his fellow administrators of Saline County, Arkansas where he works to purchase 12 defibrillators and place them throughout the county offices. Says Chris, We all hope we never have to see someone suffer from sudden cardiac arrest, but if it happens, well know we have the equipment nearby that can make ALL the difference. It did for Carroll, and it has for people all over the country. Most important-ly, virtually anyone, trained or not, will be able to use it. Its not only a comforting feeling knowing its there it could help us avoid the possible tragedy and regret of just wishing it were there, if and when someone needs it.
This story was documented by eMED, Inc. in Little Rock, AR. As one of the largest providers of advanced Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in America, eMED represents several of the most highly rated defibrillator products available. Contact us to learn more about how you can become a part of our Heart Safe Community Initiative. Call us at 866-327-EMED (3633) or visit www.eMedAmerica.com