Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and Unity Hospital in Fridley are working together to place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in communities the hospitals serve.
Designated donations to the Mercy & Unity Hospitals Foundation, along with funds raised at special events in 2009, are helping to make Anoka County Heart Safe. In 2009, Heart Safe Communities:
Heart Safe Communities is working with Take Heart Anoka County to save lives by dramatically increasing the number of people who survive sudden cardiac arrest.
Take Heart Anoka County is part a national demonstration program called Take Heart America. To learn more, go to takeheartamerica.org.
In March 2003, 15-year old Kelly Mealman suffered sudden cardiac arrest in her best friend's back yard in Blaine, Minnesota. She survived, thanks to quick-thinking best friends, Lacie Schulte and Elizabeth Bader and an AED in the squad car of a Sergeant Stephen Johnson.
Just minutes away from the scene when the call of a 15-year old girl down came in, Johnson arrived to find Schulte performing CPR. Johnson used an AED and shocked her heart once. Kelly received an implanted defibrillator (ICD). Aside from foregoing athletics, she has recovered fully.
Kelly is pictured here with Charles Lick, MD, medical director of Allina Health Emergency Medical Services and the driver behind Heart Safe Communities.
Buffalo Hospital Foundation has a fund to support AED placement, upgrades and training in Wright County. For more about giving, call 763-684-7025 or see the donation form.
Online donation form
Buffalo Hospital Foundation and the Community Health Foundation of Wright County teamed up to raise funds to place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and conduct school and community-based AED training in 17 Minnesota communities, including Albertville, Annandale, Big Lake, Buffalo, Dassel/Cokato, Delano, Hanover, Howard Lake, Maple Lake, Monticello, Montrose, Rockford, St. Michael, South Haven, Waverly, Watertown/Mayer and Winsted.
More than 160 AEDs have been placed in and around Wright County, Minnesota.
Map of AED locations in Wright County
More than 2,400 community members were trained to use AEDs. Trainees had the opportunity to have in free heart health risk assessments by experts from Buffalo Hospital's Heart Center.
Steven Sirr, MD, is alive today because when his heart suddenly stopped beating, a police officer responded to his call for help. Luckily for Sirr, a physician who lives in Rogers, Minnesota, the Wright County Sheriff's squad was equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED).
The life-saving device gave emergency medical personnel the time they needed to rush Sirr to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, where he had valve replacement surgery.