Cardiac arrest does not care how old you are. People have been saved using a MIKEY (AED), from infants to seniors.
Here are some of their stories …

mikey-250x166On Sunday, July 13, 2014, a 21st life was saved using a MIKEY (defibrillator).

During an Aurora Soccer Club CUP game between the Aurora Rangers and Man of Yorke, a 50 year old man collapsed in cardiac arrest. 911 was called and CPR was immediately started. Luckily a MIKEY that was donated to the Aurora Soccer Club in 2008, was onhand.

The AED was used to deliver a shock and the man was revived. We were told his heart stopped twice before he was able to be transported to the hospital, where he is recovering.

We are so grateful that this man got a second chance at life because a MIKEY was available when it was needed, and that people had the presence of mind to use it.

[Update] Our Mikey save is now an advocate for placing more AEDs in local sports fields. Read More…

On May 19, 2014,  a 69 year old man went into cardiac arrest and collapsed at the YMCA in downtown Toronto.

The man was found by another patron who alerted the staff and began CPR and ventilations. A lifeguard was the first staff member to arrive and he took over CPR. The YMCA co-ordinator arrived next with the MIKEY (AED). They delivered 2 shocks and the patient had a pulse when the first medic arrived just two minutes after receiving the call.

The patient lost his pulse again, and was shocked again by the paramedic. CPR was continued and they had another return of pulse. The patient was transported to Toronto General Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

The YMCA patron and the two staff members, were instrumental in saving this man’s life, as was the quick arrival of EMS to the scene. True heros in our book!

The MIKEY was one of the original AED units we placed, back in 2004. This is the 20th life saved using a public access defibrillator placed by The Mikey Network.

In Mike’s honour, the beat goes on…

Variety Village Mikey AED

Toronto Emergency Medical Services Safe City Program and The Mikey Network announced that a woman in her 60’s is alive today because bystanders were willing to step up to help someone in need, and a MIKEY (AED) was available when she needed it.

The woman is a Scarborough resident and regular pilates class attendee at Variety Village on Danforth Avenue.

It was 1 p.m. on April 8, 2014 and she had just finished her class and was walking to her car when she dropped to the ground having suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Bystanders rushed to her aid, immediately called 911 for the paramedics and started cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  The Variety Village MIKEY (automated external defibrillator – AED) was also retrieved and a life–saving shock administered before paramedics arrived to provide additional care.

The woman, in her early sixties, is now recovering in hospital.

This is the first cardiac arrest save by bystanders in the City of Toronto in 2014, and the nineteenth Mikey Network save since the program’s inception. It is also the fourth save at the Variety Village location since their  MIKEY AED was installed.

Toronto EMS Safe City Program Commander Gayle Pollock said, “It is very exciting to announce our first save of 2014 and a great reminder of the importance of bystanders stopping to help someone in medical distress.  The help the bystanders gave to this woman was a critical contribution to saving her life.”

“This is the proof that AED’s in public places can perform miracles. They are simple to use  as the AED “speaks” to the person trying to help with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. Training helps but you don’t have to be trained to use one.” said Morty Henkle, Executive Director of The Mikey Network.

AEDs save lives. That is why it is our mission at The Mikey Network to place our MIKEYS (public access defibrillators) in as many high-risk locations as possible.



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.

Mikey Network offers a simple shot at survival

Charitable network started by Hugh Heron and Heathwood Homes has placed 1,400 user-friendly defibrillators across the GTA, saving 17 lives so far.

toronto star mikey network

Rene Johnston / Toronto Star
Heathwood Homes president Hugh Heron, left, meets with Ajethan Ramachandranathan and Andrew Rosbrook, both of whom were saved by the Mikey Network of portable defibrillators.

By: Ryan Starr

Const. Andrew Rosbrook, an avid and well-conditioned runner, was nearing the end of the Goodlife Fitness half-marathon in May when he went into cardiac arrest.

His heart stopped beating for a potentially perilous seven minutes.

Ajethan Ramachandranathan, a healthy high school student, was kicking a soccer ball around with classmates in the gym at Weston Collegiate Institute last April when his heart suddenly stopped and he collapsed.

Moments away from dying, both men were saved by defibrillators provided through the Mikey Network.

The network has installed portable, user-friendly defibrillators, dubbed Mikeys, in high-risk public locations across the GTA.

Hugh Heron and his team at Heathwood Homes started the charity a decade ago in memory of Mike Salem, a company partner in his 50s who died of a heart attack on a Muskoka golf course.

“The hope is that we make it a cardiac-safe city,” explains Heron, Heathwood’s president.

So far, more than 1,400 Mikeys have been placed across the GTA and 17 lives have been saved as a result, including those of Rosbrook and Ramachandranathan.

In Rosbrook’s case, fellow officer Det.-Const. Laurie McCann performed CPR until a bike-riding paramedic with a Mikey was able to cut through the marathon throngs and reach him just in time.

“They put the pads on my chest and gave me one zap,” Rosbrook, 48, recalls being told. “Immediately, my pulse came back, my heart started beating and I started breathing again.”

In Ramachandranathan’s case, gym teacher Jeff Crewe used a Mikey installed just outside the school gym, part of the Mikey Young at Heart program, which has provided 280 defibrillators to schools, and trained educators on how to use them.

“He attached the paddles to my chest,” says Ramachandranathan, 19, recounting what witnesses told him later. “It brought my heart back.”

Last December, a Mikey administered by parents Craig and Jennifer Hansen gave their 2-year-old son, Carter, a second chance at life. The baby, who suffers from heart problems, went into arrhythmia and cardiac arrest just before Christmas.

The family had a Mikey on hand as part of the Mikey Kids program, which gives defibrillators to families of children with heart conditions so they can lead more normal lives — going on vacations and participating in activities.
Carter’s parents grabbed the machine and brought their son back to life.

“It’s an absolutely great story,” says Heron. “I don’t know about you, but I can’t understand something happening to a child 2 years of age.”

“But, fortunately, (the father) had been trained to use the machine. Thank god it all worked out well for them.”

It’s worked out well for Rosbrook and Ramachandranathan, too.

Rosbrook says he’s fully recovered from his brush with death, which he learned had been caused by a build-up of plaque in his arteries. (A stent was placed in one of his arteries to open up the clogged passage.)

In September, he ran 100 km in the National Peace Officer’s Memorial Run, an event dedicated to fallen soldiers.

“I always run it,” he says. “And I wanted to do the run this time to gauge where I was at health-wise.

“Turns out, I felt better than I had in previous years, so that gave me a tremendous boost of confidence.”

Ramachandranathan is now studying biology at York University, in the hopes of becoming a medical professional, a decision he says was shaped by what happened on the gym floor that day.

He found out he had been suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.

“Before (the event), I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he says. “But, now, I’ve decided I want to move toward the medical side of things — maybe a paramedic, maybe a doctor, I’m still not sure.”

Heron gets great satisfaction from hearing about the number of lives saved by the Mikey Network.

“Every time we hear there’s been a save, the feeling is just amazing,” he says.

The network continues to expand. In addition to the Young at Heart schools program and the Kids program, there is the Mikey on the GO program, which equipped 50 GO Transit trains with Mikeys to protect GO’s 100,000-plus daily passengers.

There’s also Mikey on Board, which has outfitted the fleet of moving company Two Men and a Truck with more than 100 Mikeys on their vehicles.

Heron wants to see the network continue to grow.

“One of the things I’m always telling people is that we should really have a defibrillator everywhere there’s a fire extinguisher,” he says. “Not necessarily a Mikey but there should be defibrillators out there.

“More people die from heart disease than they do from fire,” he adds. “And Mikeys save lives — fire extinguishers just save property.”

The home-building industry could be doing more to help the cause, Heron notes.

“We have a number of builders who have Mikeys on their construction sites, which is a really good place for them to be.

“There’s no reason all the building sites shouldn’t have a Mikey on board. We should be looking after our own.”

via The Toronto Star