T&G reports on local parents pushing for defibrillators in schools

A story in today’s Telegram & Gazette highlights parents who will be petitioning the state Senate later today to pass a bill that would mandate automated external defibrillators be in every public school and at every school event, alongside someone who knows how to operate the life-saving device.

From left, Ben Godbout, 14, of Sterling with his parents, Barri Lynn and Stephen Godbout, and Adam Thibodeau, 14, of Holden with his mother, Deb, on Tuesday. Ben and Adam both have heart conditions and their parents are lobbying for the passage of a bill that would ensure automated external defibrillators are present in all Massachusetts public schools during any event at the school. T&G Staff/Christine Hochkeppel

From left, Ben Godbout, 14, of Sterling with his parents, Barri Lynn and Stephen Godbout, and Adam Thibodeau, 14, of Holden with his mother, Deb, on Tuesday. Ben and Adam both have heart conditions and their parents are lobbying for the passage of a bill that would ensure automated external defibrillators are present in all Massachusetts public schools during any event at the school. T&G Staff/Christine Hochkeppel

The newspaper reports that a group of about 50 parents whose children either died of sudden cardiac arrest or suffer heart conditions will wear T-shirts promoting Senate Bill 1191 when it visits the Statehouse.

The proposal sits in the Senate Committee on Rules.

“We’ve been told that’s where bills go to die,” Deb Thibodeau of Holden, whose son Josh died in 2011 at age 12 after collapsing while playing soccer, told the newspaper.

An AED sat locked away in a nearby snack shack, according to the report.

“I‘m not sure if that’s the case or not,” Thibodeau, a local spokesperson for the cause, said of the bill’s status. “But we need to get that out of Rules and onto the floor for a vote before they go into recess at the end of July, or we’re going to have to start all over again with this in September. We’re in crunch time now.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart unexpectedly stops beating. Blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs, and sudden cardiac arrest usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes, according to the National Institute of Health.

To read the full story, click here.

 

 

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