Rusheon Middle School student Kaiden Gardner was on the field the night his teammate collapsed and stopped breathing.
“It could have been anybody out there on the field, and when it’s cardiac arrest, time is basically life,” he said.
That game pushed him into action.
“After the game when we got home (my dad) asked me what can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen again, and I said raise money and raise awareness for AEDs," Gardner said.
Gardner is currently trying to raise money to purchase more automatic external defibrillators for his middle school. He says he wants to purchase two. One would be for the football team and the other would be available for other sporting teams at the school.
"An AED is really important in sudden cardiac arrest, and whenever the heart stops beating appropriately, said Dr. Avery Callahan. "When the electricity in the heart does not go the right way an AED can invaluable in actually correcting that rhythm.
Dr. Callahan is an emergency medicine physician and is also board certified in EMS at Oschner LSU. She says 17 percent of AEDs are inside schools and says there are some hindrances in having the life-saving devices in more schools.
She says Louisiana laws make it more challenging as far as making sure someone is continually educated on how to use an AED, and making sure the AED is correctly maintained.
Dr. Callahan says the most common place to keep AEDs are in gyms, athletic facilities and in locations with lots of people.
Gardner is hoping to not only purchase AEDs for his school but also for his church and wants his classmates to receive first aid training while staff receives more advanced first aid training.
Gardner has applied for two grants that will help pay for half of the costs. He will find out if he was awarded the two grants next week.
If you are interested in helping Gardner you can donate to his GoFund me page here.