Man’s gift comes from the heart

An AED was donated to Sucker Creek First Nation. Councillor Jerry Willier, left, accepts the AED from Randy Waldron, of Grande Prairie, Jan. 6.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Sucker Creek First Nation received a life-saving device from a man whose young adult son died of a cardiac arrest 25 years ago.
Councillor Jerry Willier accepted the automated external defibrillator (AED) on Jan. 6 from Randy Waldron, of Grande Prairie, on behalf of the band council.
“My son died of a cardiac arrest on an oil rig south of Grande Prairie in 1998,” Waldron says.
The young man was just 20 years old.
Since 2000, Waldron says he has personally donated 50-60 AEDs to recipients around the Peace region.
Both men have been longtime friends. Waldron is a customer of Joussard business Jerry’s Store, owned by Wiillier.
When the two talked about Waldron’s giving heart, he decided to donate an AED to Sucker Creek suggested by Willier.
“As a councillor, I thought it would be a good asset for Sucker Creek First Nation,” Willier says.
“We greatly appreciate the donation.
“It’s a kind gesture from someone in a neighbouring community.
“It’s important to build those relationships with all our neighbours, including those from non First Nations.”
He says the donated AED will be located in either the Sucker Creek Community Hall, the fitness centre or in the band’s administration building.
An AED is already located in the Sucker Creek Health Centre, he notes.
“We hope we never have to use it, but it’s a vital life-saving tool to have,” Willier says.
An AED is a portable device that is used to diagnose and treat ventricular fibrillation (VF) and pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT).
The AED works by sending a shock through the victim’s chest to stop life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. That allows the heart to re-establish a sustainable pulse.
AEDs are designed to be used by both the general public and trained first responders.
Immediate CPR and defibrillation within three to five minutes give the victim the best chance of survival.
The chances of survival decrease by nearly 50 per cent if a victim in cardiac arrest is not defibrillated within five minutes.
The chances of survival decrease by another seven per cent each additional minute without the fastest way to provide the fastest way to life-saving treatment.

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