It’s been nearly three years, but 18-year-old Quebecer Jacob Dawes still hasn’t fully processed what happened to him.
On Nov. 29, 2019, Dawes was playing hockey at the MacDonald arena at John Abbott College when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.
Lucky for him, there were people there who immediately began CPR, but more importantly, there was an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site, which saved his life.
“We’re one of the few lucky people where Jacob survived,” said his mother Rose Bloom. “Jacob spent just over a week in hospital and now has an implanted defibrillator.”
After the incident, Bloom decided to learn more about cardiac arrests and AEDs – the device that helped save her son.
She learnt that though an AED is pretty simple to use, there aren’t that many in and around her community.
The Dawes family decided they wanted to try and help change that.
They discovered SaveStation – a Canadian company who sells AEDs and cabinets to house them both indoors or outdoors.
They decided to purchase one and donate it to Westwood Park, in the town of Saint-Lazare, where they live.
“I think it’s a very big step to make the community of Saint-Lazare and in general the communities safer,” said Dawes.
Though SaveStation has been around for years, and there are many throughout Ontario and the United States, this one is the first to be installed in Quebec.
The family says they were surprised to learn it was the first, but hope it won’t be the last.
“We want to inspire other people to say, ‘hey hang on a second – we can use this in our town or we can use this in our organization,’” said Bloom.
The SaveStations can range anywhere between about $2,000-$5,000 – maybe more depending on the set up.
The family says if it can save even one life, it’s worth it.