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St. James Foundation Donates AEDs

February 29, 2012
St. James Healthcare Foundation received a donation from the Myers family in memory of their son, husband, and father, Tim Meyers, who died recently from a heart attack at the age of 38. Dr. David Myers, Tim’s father, asked that the money be used for equipment or programs that could save others who are experiencing cardiac problems. “The timing of this generous donation was perfect,” said Kate Olney, Director of the St. James Foundation. “We have had a few cardiac incidents involving young athletes here in Montana, and the Butte Family YMCA (YMCA) was exploring options for getting an AED at its facility. We also have athletic trainers working at high schools in Ennis, Sheridan, Harrison, and Twin Bridges who did not have AEDs.” An automated external defibrillator is a portable electronic device that is used when the heart is not beating normally. The AED checks the heart’s rhythm and can be used to apply electrical therapy to re-establish an effective rhythm. Over the past few years, many lives have been saved because an AED was readily available. Recently, a Columbia Falls high school student suffered cardiac arrest during a P.E. class. He was successfully revived because an AED and trained personnel were immediately available. (See attached story). To have an AED on site requires staff training and a physician who monitors the training and periodically checks the device. St. James Healthcare staffer, Deb Beauchamp is conducting the 3-hour training sessions for YMCA staff, and Dr. Sharon Hecker, Cardiologist with the International Heart Institute, has agreed to serve as the overseeing physician. “This project came together nicely,” said Dr. Greg Hergott, Executive Director of the YMCA. “With all the young people working out at our facility, we decided it would be good to have an AED on hand. Hopefully, we will never have to use it, but I am very grateful that we have it if we need it.” The AED will be dedicated on Tuesday, February 28, at 1:30 pm. The Myers family will attend. Mr. Pat Kissell, principal of West Elementary, which the Myers children attend, will speak along with others in attendance. The public is invited.