AED Survivor Shares Her Gratitude
Earlier this year, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program marked its 27th and 28th saves. Each of those numbers represents a life; a person with a story much more important than a mere statistic. Recently, Phoenix Sky Harbor heard from one of those survivors, Patricia Huggart (pictured above right) who was the 27th person saved at Sky Harbor with the help of an AED.
Ms. Huggart collapsed near the B15 gate in Terminal 4 on Jan. 14. Officer Tom Beck and Sergeant Jerry Wiegert of the Phoenix Police Airport Bureau arrived on the scene and saw Shane Wilton, a paramedic from Canada and Dianne Jacobson, a passenger, assisting the passenger. Wilton was administering CPR. Volunteer Navigator Tom Nunes saw what happened and retrieved an AED machine from down the concourse. One shock was administered. Jacobson obtained the breathing mask from the AED case and started breathing for Ms. Huggart. Passenger Service Assistant Stephen Randles also assisted. Officer Beck assisted with chest compressions as did Jacobson and Beck until Phoenix Fire Department Station, C-Shift arrived on scene and transported her to the hospital.
Ms. Huggart has since returned home to Canada and is recovering. She took the time to write to Sky Harbor and share her gratitude.
“The hospital staff told my son and daughter that if it hadn't been for the quick response they couldn't have saved my life,” she said in her letter.
“I was in the perfect place when I had my cardiac arrest to receive immediate care and attention,” she wrote.“ I would also like to personally thank those that attended to my needs so expertly at the airport. It has been a very humbling experience to receive the best care from people like yourself who I never had the pleasure of meeting or talking to. My family and I are forever grateful as otherwise I would not be alive today.”
Phoenix Sky Harbor’s AED program has been in place for the past 10 years. There are currently more than 85 AEDs available at Phoenix Sky Harbor, Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear airports, located in various public spaces and employee work areas. Airliners are also equipped with the devices, and officers with the Phoenix Police Airport Bureau as well as firefighters carry AEDs on their bikes with them at the Airport. To date, more than 2,000 Airport employees and volunteer Navigators have been trained to administer CPR and properly use AEDs should the need arise.
First posted: 3/28/2011