BENTON, Ark. — Schools in Saline County are receiving life-saving AED devices that saved one of their own almost three years ago.
An automatic external defibrillator was used on Benton High School senior Grant Steed when he suddenly collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during baseball practice in March of 2017.
“The last thing I really remember is getting to center field,” Steed said. “Woke up in the hospital 18 days later.”
His coaches immediately took action with an AED and CPR.
“Without one of these I probably wouldn’t be sitting here today,” he said.
Now all schools in Saline County will soon have access to one. The Saline County Health Foundation is holding a 5K, called The Beat Goes On, to raise money to give out 10 AEDs to the schools, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office and the Benton Football Club.
“You never know what kind of athlete or student may have a heart problem,” Steed said.
Dr. Ahmad Yousaf is an internal medicine specialist. He said having AEDs placed in each school will save even more kids like Grant.
“Studies show that if someone uses an AED when somebody’s heart stops outside the hospital, that person is twice as likely to survive,” Dr. Yousaf said.
It’s easy to use and is designed for anybody to use it.
“It’ll tell you to hold compressions for a moment. That’s the way they were created, to avoid the need for some emergency person to be there for this to work,” Dr. Yousaf said.
Dr. Yousaf said its vital places like schools and sports facilities always have one of these within arms reach.
“The more places this device is the more chances as a community we save lives that can be saved,” he said.
Each AED costs $2,000. If more money is raised at the 5K, more AEDs will be purchased.
The Beat Goes On 5K is on Feb. 22. To sign up, click here.
Steed now has an AICD device placed inside him that automatically shocks him if he ever goes into cardiac arrest again.