Parents quest to save others' sons

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:04

Stroudsburg - John Moyer told a heartbreaking story, “My 15 year-old son Greg died right in front of my eyes because they had no automatic external defibrillator at his school. He was a super athlete, in perfect health, but sudden cardiac arrest took him from us in a matter of minutes”, said John Moyer of his son Greg. Defibrillators help restore normal heart rhythm in cases of cardiac arrest. and they have been popping up in public places such as airports and businesses. But the American Heart Association says that more public places need to install the devices. Survival rates have been as high as 49% to 74% for lay rescuer programs when defibrillators are placed in casinos, airports or used by police. John Moyer spoke recently to a group of community association volunteer boards of directors at the Best Western Hotel in downtown Stroudsburg. Greg had gone into the locker room during half time at his Saturday night High School Varsity Basketball Game. Suddenly he collapsed. Two minutes later John and Rachel Moyer, Rachel is John’s wife, raced into the locker room only to see their son collapsed on the floor. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation had been started but the school had no defibrillator and Greg lay their motionless. 911 was called and an ambulance was summoned. The ambulance was twenty minutes away and when someone has sudden cardiac arrest, that’s too long. Greg died waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Since that moment on John and Rachel Moyer have worked every spare moment in their lives on a quest to get automatic external defibrillators into schools, churches, banks, health clubs, and anywhere else they feel is a place that an automatic defibrillator could possibly save the life of a child or an adult. Both have spoken locally and nationally to help place automatic defibrillators in as many schools as possible. Through donations and grants since Greg’s death on Dec. 2, 2000, the Moyers have been able to place at least one automatic defibrillator in a school, library, or other location almost every week. John said, “I think we have donated at least 450 automatic defibrillators since we lost Greg. Nothing will ever help Rachel and me to recuperate from what we went through but our hope is that we can possibly prevent other families from going through the pain that we went through”, said John. The cost of a home type automatic defibrillator is about $1,000. John Moyer said that he and Rachel received a grant from the Blue Ribbon Foundation which is the “philanthropic arm” of the American Red Cross and can arrange automatic defibrillator training for any community association or other organization that purchases the life saving device in Pike or Monroe County. You can find out more about this subject by visiting on line.