2005-03-17 / Letters/Opinion

Grateful For Defib

Editor’s Note: The following letter was submitted by the American Heart Association for publication.

Dear Editor:

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council for signing INTRO 211-A into law on March 7, 2005. I am living proof that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public places — namely, my office – are worth the investment.

On October 18, 2004 shortly after 11:00 a.m., I went into cardiac arrest. One of my co-workers happened by and found me slumped in my chair, unconscious. Thankfully, the staff immediately sprang into action: while one co-worker began CPR on me, another ran to get the defibrillator.

I later learned that I was unconscious for over 10 minutes, and that I was shocked five times with the defibrillator before I “came back”. I will forever be grateful that my company had the foresight to invest in that AED – if they had not, I would not have survived cardiac arrest. It had been in our office for six years and had never once been used. I hope that it is never used again, but I am thankful to know that it is here in the office.

As a survivor of cardiac arrest, I have made several lifestyle changes, which began with reducing stress, changing my diet and exercising. I also work with the American Heart Association to help others realize the significance of these machines.

Thanks again to Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council for passing this law. I know that many more lives will be saved with AEDs in New York City.

Sincerely,

Jenifer H. Fergusson

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