By Mercy's Jeff Raymond
The luncheon was co-sponsored by Mercy and the Chickasaw Nation.The Wear Red for Women Committee, which is made of a group of businesswomen, physicians, attorneys, wives, mothers and daughters committed to raising awareness and preventing heart disease in women and in our community, raised $6,000 toward automated external defibrillator devices, or AEDs, at this year’s Wear Red for Women luncheon.
When a person’s heart suddenly stops from cardiac arrest, an AED can prove the difference between life and death. Money raised from the luncheon funded five AEDs, to be placed in Pontotoc County sheriff’s vehicles.
Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian said he appreciates the capabilities the AEDs provide his department and thanked Mercy Hospital Ada and the Chickasaw Nation for helping his deputies save lives.
“Very frequently, our deputies are the first to arrive to the scene; having AEDs in their vehicles puts them in a position to stabilize patients until EMS can arrive,” he said. “Together, with this equipment and education, we are saving lives and improving health care in our community.”
Mercy Health Foundation Director Todd Essary noted 220 people attended the luncheon, which was the first event in Ada.
“I was amazed by the Wear Red for Women turnout and support for AEDs,” he said. “The event has grown awareness around the equipment and the need to save lives in and around Ada. The Foundation is proud to be a part of this important effort and hopes to supply all first responders and important locations with an AED.”
Dr. Connie Wilson, an emergency medicine physician with the Chickasaw Nation, spoke at the standing-room-only luncheon, elaborating on how the signs and symptoms of heart attacks differ between men and women.
Mercy Ada President Lori Wightman said she wants to place AEDs “everywhere we work, play, pray and learn” and plans to continue raising money for the devices.
Contributions towards funding AEDs in our community can be mailed to Mercy Health Foundation, Attn: AED Fund, 430 N. Monte Vista, Ada, OK 74820. For more information, please call 580-421-1403.