Attendees at the April 22 ribbon cutting for the new SaveStation Automatic External Defibrillator at the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center learn how to use the life-saving device. Contributed photo.

The nonprofit Kyle J. Taylor Foundation chose the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center as the first location in the South Bay to donate and install a SaveStation Automatic External Defibrillator—a device that can save the life of a person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

Representatives of the foundation, as well as community members including Mayor Rich Constantine and Councilmember Gino Borgioli, attended a ribbon cutting for the SaveStation device April 22 at the sports complex on Condit Road. The ribbon cutting included a demonstration on how to use the AED, which delivers a crucial electric shock to a heart that has suddenly stopped.

“An (AED) gives any person the opportunity to save a life by providing clear instructions if and when the time comes to provide this critical shock,” says a press release from the Kyle J. Taylor Foundation. “Yet this can still be daunting, and people often don’t know where to go and what to do when someone collapses.”

The SaveStation is an easy to identify housing station for a standard AED that allows the public to quickly locate the life-saving device in emergency situations, says the press release.

The family of Kyle J. Taylor created the foundation after the 18-year-old died of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in 2018. The foundation works to provide awareness and education about SCA—which is among the leading causes of death among young people—as well as to award scholarships and prevent SCA-related deaths with free heart screenings and AED donations, says the press release.

Different from a heart attack, SCA is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when one’s heart suddenly stops beating. It is the top cause of death among student athletes and on school campuses in the U.S., and the number two cause of medical death among youth under 25, the press release says. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. suffer SCA every day.

“With no warning signs and only a 5-10% survival rate, this disease is dangerous and difficult to prevent,” says the press release.

But an AED, when immediately available, can return the victim’s heart to normal, according to the foundation. Plus, the device is easy to use regardless of the user’s medical training or lack thereof.

The Kyle J. Taylor Foundation chose the Morgan Hill OSC for an AED SaveStation due to the high volume of young athletes who visit the sports facility every year, said Kylie Clark of the Kyle J. Taylor Foundation. Furthermore, Kyle J. Taylor was a soccer player and his family had spent “many weekends” at the OSC for games and tournaments.

In fact, a visitor to the OSC just a day after the SaveStation ribbon cutting lost consciousness in a medical emergency, Clark said. Although the adult male soon woke up and was not suffering from SCA, bystanders pulled the new AED and prepared it for use.

“(The) EMT at the scene said it was crucial they had the device there in case he went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest before they arrived,” Clark said. “This incident demonstrated how important it is to have an AED on site, and the Kyle J. Taylor Foundation is more determined than ever to get more of these life-saving devices into the community.”

April 22 ribbon cutting for the new SaveStation AED donated to the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center. Contributed photo.
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