As we all know our children are our future. We love them,we cherish them,and we will do everything in our power to make sure they grow up healthy and strong.
Yet, as much as we try to protect them, even the young can develop unexpected heart problems. Indeed, there are no age barriers to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which can happen to anyone,at any time, in any location. Each year in Ontario, children and teens are among the more than 6,500 people who experience SCA. Fortunately, there’s hope for a second chance at life for many of those who do.
In 2006, Dr. Joel Kirsh, the chief physician in Cardiology and Critical Care and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at SickKids® Hospital, called Morty Henkle, Director of The Mikey Network to talk about a way to place defibrillators in schools across the GTA. Considering it an investment in Canada’s future, we launched The Mikey’s Young-At-Heart School Defibrillator Program.
The MIKEY’s installed under this program will be available to hundreds of high school and continuing education students, their teachers and school staff. The life-saving potential is even greater when you consider that schools form the heart ofour communities.
MIKEYS will also benefit all of the individuals and neighbourhood groups who regularly attend meetings, play sports,vote at their local polling stations, and participate in other special events held on school property.
Through the Mikey’s Young-At-Heart Program, we plan to work with EMS and local school boards to eventually place a MIKEY in every elementary, intermediate and secondary school in Ontario – and to ensure the beat goes on for future generations!
TDSB Recieves shocking $400,000 Donation
Life-saving heart defibrillators will soon be available at every Toronto District School Board (TDSB) secondary school, outdoor education centre, and administrative site thanks to the generous donation by The Mikey Network, a non-profit organization that places the devices in community facilities across the province.
The Mikey Network is donating 120 MIKEYS (Public Access Defibrillators), plus the cost of training of up to eight staff at each location, to the TDSB. This represents the single largest donation of defibrillators by the organization since its inception in 2003. The donation package is valued at approximately $400,000 and all MIKEYS will be installed by September 2008.
“More MIKEYS means more second chances at life for people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest,” said Hugh Heron, principal and partner in The Heron Group of Companies, President of Heathwood Homes, and Co-Founder of The Mikey Network. “We are very proud of our partnership with the TDSB in this life-saving initiative, and we can’t think of a better place to help educate the public about defibrillators than the city’s school board locations.
Toronto Emergency Services will train TDSB staff at each site on the use of defibrillators over the next year. Once the training is complete, each site is expected to have at least one trained operator available from the time the school or site opens in the morning to when the last person leaves at night.