> Letter from Ryan Gomes
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website to learn about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and the importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
More than 325,000 Americans die each year from SCA, thousands of them children. Our goal is to help reduce that number significantly. SCA occurs without regard to age, race or gender, and occurs during strenuous activity more than 60% of the time. Yet victims of SCA need not die; they can often return to a normal life if treated immediately.
I believe that through Hoops For Heart Health, my non-profit foundation, we can raise awareness and educate people on the importance of AEDS in public venues such as schools, recreation centers, gymnasiums and athletic facilities.
I first became aware of SCA and the need for AEDs when my former AAU coach told me about the sudden and unexpected death of my friend Stanley Myers, a star basketball player for Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, CT. By all appearances, Stanley was a healthy young man trying to make the Morgan State College basketball team, with a bright future ahead of him. Like many other victims of SCA, he exhibited no warning signs that anything was wrong, yet passed away while exercising one afternoon.
Consider that on average, it takes Emergency Medical Management Service teams in the United States 6 - 12 minutes to arrive at an emergency scene. By having AEDS on-site, with properly trained staff, we can reduce those precious minutes and save some young lives.
With this in mind, I invite you to join me in my campaign to raise awareness on the issue of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the necessity for placing Automated External Defibrillators in public venues. Since the start of my professional career in 2005, Hoops for Heart Health has donated countless AEDs to facilities in every NBA city across the country.
But we can’t do it alone. We need your support in this worthy cause. Please work within your community to ensure that your local recreation centers, schools, gyms and athletic facilities have immediate access to an AED. It’s equally important that the equipment be well maintained, and that staff members are properly trained in the use of AEDs, CPR and first aid.
- Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death among young athletes.
- At least once a week in this country, a competitive young athlete suffers a sudden cardiac arrest.
- Without immediate treatment, applied within minutes of the heart stopping, death is certain.
- Victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest can often be treated successfully with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
If your school or local facility does not have an AED, talk to the person in charge to see how to help build the cost of the device (approximately $l,500) into the budget. The time for action is now; after an emergency, it's just too late.