Boston Herald: Parents urge support for defibrillators in schools

Parents who lost children to sudden cardiac arrest are pushing for a statewide mandate that would put life-saving heart devices in all Bay State schools — a measure that has remained in legislative limbo for years, they say, reports the Boston Herald.

Deb Thibodeau, who lost her son, Josh, Stephen Gadabout, who's son Ben has a heart condition, and Susan Canning, holding a photo of her son Kevin Major join parents of children who have died of sudden cardiac arrest or have heart conditions at the State House to push for legislation that would require all schools to have defibrillators on site Thursday, July 7, 2016. Boston Herald photo by Nancy Lane

Deb Thibodeau, who lost her son, Josh, Stephen Gadabout, who’s son Ben has a heart condition, and Susan Canning, holding a photo of her son Kevin Major join parents of children who have died of sudden cardiac arrest or have heart conditions at the State House to push for legislation that would require all schools to have defibrillators on site Thursday, July 7, 2016. Boston Herald photo by Nancy Lane

 

“For us, we know that there are kids, way more than people can even imagine, walking around with these hidden heart conditions,” Deb Thibodeau of Holden, who lost her 12-year-old son in 2011, told the newspaper. “We have fire extinguishers, we have EpiPens. This is a common-sense safety measure for our kids. … 
It would mean the world to us
to give those kids a chance.”

Thibodeau was one of about 50 people who went to the State House recently to petition for a vote on Senate Bill 1191, sponsored by Sen. Mark C. Montigny, according to the report.

The bill would require all schools in the state to have automated external defibrillators — machines that can shock life back into a stopped heart — and staff who are trained to 
operate them. About 20 percent of schools in Massachusetts either do not have the 
machines or have not 
reported whether they do.

Each machine costs about $1,000.

Read the full story here.

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