Monday, November 17, 2008

Being Prepared for Life & Death

November 6, Levi Pocza (pictured), a 7th grader at Redmond Jr. High, collapsed in his P.E. class. After checking his pulse and determining that Levi was in crisis, Levi’s teacher, Chris Broderick, and school principal, Prato Barone began administering CPR while office staff called 911. Football coach, Scott Hagerman, ran to get the school’s AED (automated external defibrillator). He had recently undergone training to be re-certified and knew exactly how to use the device.

Levi’s heart was shocked with the AED and CPR was continued when about 8 minutes later emergency personnel arrived and took over. Levi was taken to the hospital and had another arrest in route. The rest of the story is that Levi survived and because of the quick response of school personnel Levi suffered no brain damage. You can read more of the story in the Redmond Reporter here.

I’m grateful for Levi and his family that this story had a happy ending. I’m grateful for trained and quick responding school personnel and emergency personnel. All worked together to save a precious life.

But I’m also grateful for Scott Bulger, a friend of mine. You ask, “Who is he? He’s not mentioned in the story.”

I belong to a service club called Rotary. A few years ago Scott was deeply moved by the death of another student named Sean Shipler who could have been saved if there had been an AED accessible. Scott came to our Rotary Club and said, “Let’s work to make sure that another child doesn’t die simply because there is no AED available.” My Club was catalyzed into raising funds with the goal of putting an AED into every high school and junior high school in the Lake Washington School District, and we did.

At the time Mariner’s pitcher Arthur Rhodes was a neighbor of Scott’s. Rhodes collected a bunch of Seattle Mariner’s autographed memorabilia and we raised a lot of the money by auctioning off baseball stuff.

There were several other projects that raised the necessary funds but the point is, there were a lot of efforts and volunteer hours and monies raised years before a Redmond 7th grader collapsed and needed an AED. Thus I’m reminded of the importance of emergency preparedness or disaster preparedness and just LIFE preparedness.

My friend Scott knew that someday there would be another student that would experience a cardiac arrest and need an AED and he did something about it.

I know that someday EVERY ONE OF US will have our heart stop beating and we will be ushered from this life and into the next. We will stand before a holy God for a day of accountability. Some will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your reward.” Others will hear, “Depart from me for I never knew you.”

Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is the “AED” for a heart and destiny that is in God’s hands. I’m praying today for my readers, that you will give attention and effort in advance for the day that is surely coming for us all.


Chris said...

I just wanted to help you with a little but important detail. Sean Shipler didn't die. I'm his father and he survived. The whole story is going to be put back on the internet, it seems to have faded and lost it's power and impact through the years.

Scott Brewer said...

I'm so sorry to have missed the detail that Sean survived and lives today. I truly hope that I did not add any grief or distress to you or your family.

The Redmond Reporter article that gives more of the story on Levi clearly states that Sean survived his own ordeal.

The story is here for my readers information--