Excite Cheer & Gymnastics in Highland Village was awarded an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that may help save the life of someone that goes into cardiac arrest.
Julie Hutchens, owner of Excite, said that she applied for the AED donation since her 15-year-old gym is always busy and serves people of all ages.
“This gift we received will benefit the whole area since so many families go through our gym, including grandparents, parents and siblings,” said Hutchens.
While employees will be trained on the use of the AED courtesy of the Highland Village Fire Department, the unit is designed to be easily utilized by anyone, even without training. The device will give voice prompts to let the user know if and when they should send a shock to the heart.
The AED was donated by Living 4 Zachary, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of sudden cardiac arrest through community education and awareness events. The organization also promotes youth heart screenings and donates AEDs to school and youth facilities.
Zachary Schrah, a seemingly healthy 16-year-old, collapsed without warning during a high school football practice in Plano on April 2, 2009. The Schrah family later learned that Zac had died from congenital heart disease that caused sudden cardiac arrest.
Karen Schrah, Zac’s mother, presented the AED on Sunday to Hutchens. Excite’s All Star team was in attendance and performed as part of the presentation.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 10,000 young people die from sudden cardiac arrest each year.
“Living 4 Zachary does some wonderful things and has great information and free exams so parents can find out if a child has a heart issue before it is too late,” said Hutchens.