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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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AED Network celebrates ’An Extra Day’

The AED Network of Central Louisiana celebrated its 10th anniversary Friday, Feb. 29, by honoring people involved in the project as well as the nine people alive today because of it.

The “Celebrating An Extra Day” luncheon was intentionally held on Leap Year Day, Board Chairman Lee Weems said. “Leap Day is an extra day of the year. An Extra Day of Life was given to the survivors because of trained responders, appropriate equipment and a caring community.”

More than 480 AEDs (automated external defibrillators) are in locations throughout Central Louisiana as a result of an idea that was planted in the spring of 1998. These lifesaving units are in public places – from churches and schools, to malls, office buildings, stadiums and other locations where large groups gather.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that administers an electric shock through the chest wall during cardiac arrest.

The Rapides Foundation initially partnered with the American Heart Association to place AEDs in the hands of law enforcement agencies and fire departments. They were then placed in other public locations. The network currently ensures that these machines are in proper working condition and that people are trained how to use them.

The nine people saved under the AED Network are:

1. Ray Yates
Ray Yates, a retired sawmill foreman from Olla, suffered a heart attack while driving through Olla in May 2002. He was saved through the quick and skilled intervention of Olla Police Chief Gary Taylor, Assistant Chief John Stott and LaSalle Parish Sheriff's Deputy Terry Keene.

2. Gregory Brooks
Gregory Brooks, a Winnfield Correctional Center guard, collapsed after a qualifying run in July 2004. Luckily, Lonnie Smith, S.O.R.T. commander at the center, was nearby. Smith had received AED and CPR training through the AED Network.

3. Johnny Delaughter
Johnny Delaughter was on the job at the West Fraser Mill in Winn Parish on Jan. 12, 2005, when he suffered a heart attack. James Gandy, the safety man on the shift, also was a first responder for the Weston Fire Department and a part-time EMT for the Jackson Parish Ambulance Service. Knowing the importance of quick response in rural settings, Gandy always carried an AED in his pickup. Rescuers used the AED to shock Delaughter twice. Gandy said, “While this was my first time to actually shock someone with the AED, it’s clear to me that without it being available there was no chance that Johnny could have survived.”

4. Lonis Kelone
One morning in March of 2005, 52-year old Mansura grocery store owner and caterer
Lonis Kelone suffered a severe heart attack and collapsed in his store. Within minutes AED/CPR certified members of the Mansura Fire and Police Departments arrived on the scene and were able to bring Kelone back to life. 

5. John W. Payne
When Natchitoches resident John W. Payne collapsed in a pickup truck on Dixie Street in August 2005, help from the fire department came quickly. Firefighters performed CPR and administered an AED shock to successfully revive their patient. “While I have seen other victims survive cardiac arrest in my 10 years of EMS experience – I believe that early CPR and early AED made all the difference in this rescue,” Firefighter Darren Clark said.

6. Douglas Cook 
On March 29, 2006, Hessmer resident Douglas Cook was found lying on a waterbed, gasping for breath. His wife, Patricia, was frantic. Drew Daigrepont and Brady Kelley performed CPR and used and AED to revive Cook. In the commotion, Daigrepont heard someone ask, “Do we need to call the coroner?” Daigrepont’s response: “For what? Look, he is breathing on his own!”
Patricia Cook, by the way, can attest to the power of the AED. Her boss is Lonis Kelone, who was saved by an AED in March 2005.

7. Betty Jean Carbaugh
It was a Sunday afternoon in December 2006 when Flatwoods resident Betty Jean Carbaugh suffered a heart attack. While her family members were performing CPR, the Flatwoods Volunteer Fire Department rushed in with an AED, saving her life. Fire Chief Ed Jarzyna said, “The Flatwoods Volunteer Fire Department sincerely believes that without AEDs in the rural communities, success stories like this would not be possible.”

8. Kenneth McQuillin
On Oct. 21, 2007, Kenneth McQuillin of Ball was driving on U.S. Highway 165 in Woodworth when he collapsed at the wheel. His passenger, John Johnson, stopped the vehicle while a nearby motorist called 911. Firefighter Erica Crochet grabbed the AED from the truck. “I remember praying and asking the Lord to be with our patient and to be with us, help us as we did our job in trying to save this man’s life,” she said.

9. Avoyelles Correctional Center Prisoner
Avoyelles Correctional Facility Capt. Steve Dauzat was working late on Oct. 27, 2007, when he heard commotion in the hall. He rushed out to see a detainee lying unconscious on a makeshift stretcher. While a nurse handled CPR, Dauzat used the AED. When the ambulance arrived, the prisoner was breathing. “I would personally like to thank The Rapides Foundation and The American Heart Association for the AED Defibrillator and the training I received,” Dauzat said. “There is nothing more important than being prepared for such an incident.”

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