The Latest Mikey Network News

marandabeachWe received a lovely note from Crystal, the mom of one of our Mikey’s Kids, Maranda. Maranda is a very special and unique girl. She has an extremely rare disorder called Andersen-Tawil Syndrome. Only 100 people world wide have been diagnosed with the disorder since it was first discovered in 1967. The heart can be seriously affected, so Maranda needs a MIKEY, and we provided one through the Mikey’s Kids program.

Crystal wrote:

“We are finally heart safe! We are so grateful to have received an fully funded AED (automatic external defibrillator) courtesy of The Mikey Network – the beat gos on. What an amazing program that provides AEDs to families and organizations in need! And the most wonderful and simple application process and best customer service ever! Thank you for your help Morty! We feel so much safer and secure knowing we have an AED in our home and with Maranda at school and wherever she goes. Knowing your child is at risk for cardiac death is difficult, but this organization was bright spot of sunshine in our journey.”

“I just wanted to say thanks again for making a big part of our life easier. So many things are so difficult and so challenging. Many things have layers and layers of process and paperwork. Your organization was so streamlined and wonderful to deal with.”

Thank you so much for your kind words Crystal, and welcome to Team Mikey. We hope you never need to use your MIKEY,  but we’re so happy it’s there if you need it.

Maranda is a big fan of Rainbows.  She has a Facebook page – Maranda’s Rainbow Connection – where you can go to learn more about her and  Andersen-Tawil Syndrome, and leave her an encouraging word, or a picture of a rainbow. Maranda wishes for a rainbow from every person in the world! So please take a moment to send a rainbow to: Maranda’s Rainbow Connection c/o Shoppers Drug Mart 2028 Park St Regina, SK Canada S4N 2G6


jay and caylaOur good friends Jay and Cayla Solomon are doing something pretty special for The Mikey Network.

Every year, Jay and Cayla help support us in our mission to place MIKEYs (AEDs) in public spaces by taking part in our annual Walk of Life with the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada.

This year, they are taking it a step further. Inspired by #FeedTheDeed, an online campaign to encourage random acts of kindness, Jay and Cayla have started a fundraising initiative with the goal of funding a MIKEY (defibrillator), and you can even help determine where the MIKEY gets placed!

Jay and Cayla have committed to raising $1,800 to pay for the MIKEY. Please help make sure they reach their goal! They are reaching out to friends, families, colleagues and members of Team Mikey, to help make their goal a reality. Every little bit helps, and even the smallest contribution is greatly appreciated.

Jay and Cayla are also asking their supporters to give suggestions for a high traffic public area to place this MIKEY. If you’ve got an idea, give them a shout on their fundraising page.

The Mikey Network wants to thank both Jay and Cayla for their amazing support. We’re proud to call them members of Team Mikey.

To Donate to Jay and Cayla’s MIKEY Fundraiser, please visit their page.


Hugh Heron Visits Scottish Parliament

(L-R) Dr. Kyle Phillpots, Lesley Gallacher, Bernard Gallacher, First Minister Alex Salmond, Hugh Heron, Brian Mair

It started with a tweet, and ended with Mikey Network Chairman, Hugh Heron, visiting Scottish Parliament.  Actually, it started even earlier. In August 2013, former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, collapsed during a dinner at a hotel on the outskirts of Aberdeen, Scotland, in sudden cardiac arrest. Fortunately, the hotel had a defibrillator and the golf legend has made a full recovery, thanks in part to an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted to prevent further cardiac arrests.

That’s where the power of social media and Twitter come in, to make the world a bit smaller. 



Bernard Gallacher and his colleagues at the PGA became interested in making more defibrillators available, and learning about the charities that supported this effort.

Bernard’s daughter Kristy Gallacher, who just happens to be a popular sports reporter in the UK, was talking about it on Twitter.

Hugh’s nephew in Scotland saw this, and tweeted to Kristy about The Mikey Network. That lead to the Gallachers getting in in touch with Hugh.

Talk about the power of social media!

So that’s how Mikey Network Chairman, Hugh Heron, came to visit First Minister Alex Salmond, at Scottish Parliament, with Bernard Gallacher and officials from the PGA to talk about the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign.

During the visit, in a session of Parliament called “First Minister’s Question Time,” the First Minister announced that the Scottish Government was funding £100,000 ($183,606 CAD) to increase the number of defibrillators throughout Scotland. Go Scottish Government!

To learn more about the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign with the Professional Golfers’ Association, visit Arrhythmia Alliance.


1) What is a MIKEY?

A MIKEY is a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD), also called an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). Defibrillator can hard to spell and even harder to say, so we call them MIKEYs.

An AED is a portable user-friendly electronic device that automatically diagnoses potentially life-threatening heart rhythms. If the AED detects a problem that may respond positively to an electric shock, it permits a shock to be delivered to restore a normal heart rhythm

2) Do I have to be a professional to use one?

You don’t have to be a medical professional to use a MIKEY and save a life!

AEDs provide simple audio and visual instructions and are designed for use by laypersons. Some AEDs advise the operator to press a button to deliver the shock. Other AEDs automatically provide a shock if the heart is in a fatal rhythm.

3) How many people have been saved by MIKEYs so far?

Because of the quick thinking and decisive action of people on the scene, and the fact a MIKEY was available, 18 people have been saved by a MIKEY defibrillator! You can read all about their stories on our Saved By A Mikey page.

4) Where can I find a MIKEY?

Since its formation, The Mikey Network has placed over 1500 life-saving MIKEY defibrillators. You can find a map of every MIKEY location on our MIKEY Locations page.

5) How can I help The Mikey Network save lives?

You can start by joining Team Mikey, a dedicated group made up of staff, volunteers and community organizations who care deeply about saving lives. We participate in a variety of events throughout the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, to raise awareness and funds for our cause.

You can also help place a MIKEY directly by donating to The Mikey Network. Let’s all help those who suffer sudden cardiac arrest have a second chance at life!


From left to right: Al Downey, Director of Parks and Recreation Services; Neil Garbe, Chief Administrative Officer; Oliver Koh, Full Time Deck Supervisor; Edwin Jackson; Gregory Peri, Aquatics Programmer; Councillor Michael Thompson; Andrew Recine, Lifeguard and Instructor; Franco De Marco, Acting Youth and Community Development Coordinator


We received the most wonderful news today!

Loriann Ierullo, of the Stronach Aurora Recreation Complex in the Town of Aurora, was kind enough to send us a note describing how Edwin Jackson’s life was saved using a defibrillator donated by The Mikey Network.

Following is Loriann’s note, reprinted with permission:

The Mikey Network saves another life!

51 year old Edwin (Eddie) Jackson was participating in a men’s hockey rental at the Stronach Aurora Recreation Complex in the Town of Aurora on Friday February 21, 2014 at approximately 3:10pm.  He skated over to the bench as he was not feeling well.  Eddie collapsed down on to his knees and then went unconscious onto the floor.  His team mate Stephen McDonald immediately responded with Scott Sheppard.  Stephen started compressions and Scott gave direct mouth to mouth ventilations.  Both men had been trained in first aid and CPR.  Meanwhile another teammate ran for the AED unit donated by the Mikey Network in 2005, located in the lobby and shouted to the receptionist Natasha Garro to call 911.

Town employee’s Greg Peri, Aquatic Programmer and Oliver Koh, Full time Deck Supervisor responded to the commotion and ran to the scene.  Upon arrival at the scene Greg noticed one of the first responders struggling to open the AED pads.  Greg took over and applied the pads to Eddie’s bare chest.  Greg signaled for rescuers to stand clear while the AED analysed.  The prompted came back, shock advised.  Greg administered the shock and instructed Stephen to continue compressions as he had noticed he was doing a good job.  Oliver had run to ensure 911 had been called and to get blankets, a first aid kid and accident reports.  Scott gave one more breathe while Greg prepared his gloves and pocket mask and then took over breathing.  After about 4 breaths Eddie started breathing on his own, his teammates asked how he was doing but Eddie was unable to respond verbally, but was able to blink to commands.

Eddie was placed in recovery position and covered with blankets to treat for shock.  Oliver and Greg took a set of vitals and continued to care for Eddie until paramedics arrived on scene. Other staff; Franco DeMarco and Andrew Racine took witness statements and ensured his teammates were ok as it was evident they were in shock after witnessing the event.

Eddie was taken to South Lake Regional Health Care Centre, operated on the next day, a stint was put into his heart, his medication was adjusted and he was released 3 days post incident.  It is important to note that this was Eddie’s third heart attack, his friend and lifesaver Stephen McDonald commented that he hopes Eddie will finally hang up his skates.

Loriann Ierullo
Recreation Supervisor, Aquatic and Fitness
Town of Aurora

Edwin Jackson is the 18th life saved using a defibrillator placed by the Mikey Network.

This is the second time the MIKEY at the Aurora Recreation Complex was put into action. We are so happy it was available and that the true heroes on the scene reacted immediately with their CPR/AED training.

The Mikey Network is committed to placing MIKEYS (public access defibrillators) in as many high-risk locations as possible so people affected by sudden cardiac arrest might have a second chance at life (or a fourth!)

Mr. Jackson’s story illustrates why it is so important to have defibrillators available when and where they are needed. Defibrillators should be as common as fire extinguishers in public.