From left to right are Pete Stehman, Gov. Pat Quinn, Lisa Brown-Sabatino, Debbie Ramlow, Amanda
Baugher and Matt Badgley.
(Click on picture for larger image.)
Some quick-thinking bystanders from the stands -- Lincoln residents
Ann Olson, Debbie Ramlow, Scott Ritchhart and Karen Hobler -- began
cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and 911 was called. Soon after,
Baugher, Badgley and Stehman arrived with the automated external
defibrillator and used it to administer a shock that restarted
The AED was available thanks to an Illinois state law called the
Colleen O'Sullivan Act, requiring the equipment to be on-site at all
times in all schools and public athletic facilities. O'Sullivan, a
staff attorney for the Illinois House of Representatives, died of
heart complications in 2002 after exercising at a health club.
Quinn was a driving force behind that landmark legislation and
also helped create the Heartsaver AED Fund, which helps provide
matching grants to schools, park district facilities and fitness
"It was a team effort," said J.R. Dietl, president and director
of training at Contemporary Life Saving Training in O'Fallon and a
member of the American Heart Association's Illinois Advocacy
Committee. "The whole reason Gary Gustafson is alive today is that
the bystanders acted quickly, the school implemented the program,
people were trained, and the AED was easily accessible. Everything
that should have happened did."
The American Heart Association honored Quinn on Friday with the
Heart Champion Award for his pioneering efforts to strengthen the
emergency medical chain of survival by promoting lifesaving AED
technology throughout Illinois.
The association also presented its American Heart Hero Award to
Baugher, Badgley and Stehman for their fast response and heroic
effort to save a life by using an AED in an emergency.
At a separate event in Lincoln, Olson, Ramlow, Ritchhart and
Hobler will be recognized for their roles in the save.
"By making AEDs available, people who use a few simple skills
achieve something extraordinary -- they save lives," Dietl said.
"Today, these ‘Heartsavers' are the heroes, but all Metro East
residents can easily become tomorrow's heroes by knowing to call 911
and being ready to perform CPR or use an AED."
In Missouri, the American Heart Association is looking at a
current statute to improve access to automated external
defibrillators there so that more lives can be saved. The American
Heart Association is also challenging all Metro East residents to
learn how to perform CPR on someone who suddenly collapses and stops
breathing normally, and is encouraging businesses, public sites and
other entities to consider implementing programs making automated
external defibrillators and trained rescuers available to administer
a potentially lifesaving electric shock to the heart.
Collinsville High School is off to a great start, according to
Dietl. The school trained 500 students in CPR last year and plans to
train 500 more this year. They have also trained more than 380 staff
members and 38 coaches, he said.
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Sudden cardiac arrest is most often caused by an irregular heart
rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. This irregular rhythm causes
the heart's electrical impulses to become chaotic, causing the
victim to collapse and stop breathing normally. Unless a normal
heart rhythm is restored, death will follow in a matter of minutes.
In fact, the American Heart Association estimates that for every
minute without defibrillation, a person's chances of survival
decrease by 7 percent to 10 percent.
Each year, more than 310,000 people across the country die from
coronary heart disease before reaching a hospital or in an emergency
room. Most of those deaths result from sudden cardiac arrest, and 75
percent to 80 percent occur at home. When the arrest occurs outside
the hospital setting, most victims die because CPR and
defibrillation were not provided or were provided too late. Less
than a third of sudden cardiac arrest victims receive CPR when they
need it. Effective CPR can help make the difference between life and
death, buying valuable time and increasing the likelihood that the
victim can successfully be defibrillated by an electric shock.
The American Heart Association provides a full range of training
and information to help people learn to perform effective CPR.
Family & Friends CPR Anytime is a training program that can be used
at home by multiple family members. Infant CPR Anytime is a similar
self-directed program with instruction on performing CPR on an
infant (12 months or younger). For additional information, visit
shopcpranytime.org or call 1-877-AHA-4CPR.
About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, the AHA is the nation's oldest and largest
voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives,
free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat
these diseases -- America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers -- the
association funds cutting-edge research, conducts lifesaving public
and professional educational programs, and advocates to protect
public health. To learn more or join the association in helping all
Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit
[Text from file received from
American Heart Association,