NORWALK, Conn. - The Gudis Family of Westport has teamed up with Norwalk Hospital to donate 100 AEDs to the communities of New Canaan, Norwalk, Weston, Westport and Wilton.
An automated external defibrillator, or AED, is a portable device that delivers an electrical shock to a heart that is not beating with the intent of restoring normal electrical activity so that the heart will beat again.
The donation follows a recent incident in Westport when Mark Gudis, a Norwalk Hospital Trustee, helped to save the life of a 17-year-old student at a Staples High School sporting event in October. Gudis had an AED in his car and was able to take immediate action while waiting for the ambulance.
“Due to the quick actions of our qualified Staples head athletic trainer and two medically trained parents watching the game, along with the readily accessible AED, we were very fortunate to have a favorable outcome,” Gudis said. “Given this latest near tragedy, and others in our communities, it is very apparent we need more AEDs in our schools, on our athletic fields and in our community centers.”
MaryGrace Gudis, a Norwalk Hospital Foundation Director said that, “AEDs need to be easily accessible and within reach, because minutes matter in situations of sudden cardiac arrest."
However having the AEDs available is only part of the solution MaryGrace Gudis said. She said there should be extensive training throughout the community and schools in order to be preventative and not just reactive.
The Gudis family hope this initiative will inspire other communities to take the necessary steps to help ensure there are more Heart Safe communities.
“We are very pleased to be part of a community effort to purchase AEDs and expand their availability in schools and other public locations as well as to expand CPR training in our communities. Special thanks to MaryGrace and Mark Gudis for their generous support,” said Michael Daglio, President of Norwalk Hospital. “Together, we are helping to ensure that our residents receive the early lifesaving response that is proven to increase chances for survival during sudden cardiac arrest."
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