Grieving parents push to ensure every school can afford a defibrillator

An AED costs about $1,000 each

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — An automated external defibrillator, or AED, can help revive a person’s heart that suddenly stopped beating, but the reality is; many schools can’t afford this lifesaving machine.

Westfield’s Susan Canning and several other heartbroken families drove to the State House in Boston Thursday, urging lawmakers to require all schools to have an AED on-site.

Canning told 22News, “Kevin is my nineteen-year-old son that passed away five years ago on Monday to sudden cardiac arrest—undiagnosed. His first event was his last event.”

A defibrillator, Canning said, could have saved her son’s life and countless others when their hearts suddenly stop beating.

That’s exactly what happened to Deb Thibodeau’s son, Josh. “To have something so simple as an AED that’s only $1,000 that can save a child’s life—it’s a no-brainer. It’s ridiculous that we’re even here doing this.”

An AED costs about $1,000 each. Some schools already have defibrillators, but many school districts just can’t afford to buy a machine they may never use.

As these parents wait for lawmakers to take action, they’re actively raising money to help school districts across Massachusetts buy lifesaving AED’s. Their hope, is that one less parent will have to suffer the pain of losing a child.

Ralph Thibodeau said, “This is a lifesaving bill; it’s that simple. AED’s save lives. We understand that it’s $1,000, but what is the cost of a young child’s life?”

You can help school districts buy an AED by donating to the following foundations: KEVS Foundation and The Josh Thibodeau Helping Hearts Foundation.

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