“‘CPR is necessary and good, but there’s nothing that can replace an AED,’ she said. ‘I think AED’s should be mandatory (at all public places); I hope this is a wake-up call for businesses.'” -Theater director after buying an AED which within months of purchase saved a life.
Naperville Theater Director’s Decision to Buy AED Saves Man’s Life Months Later
When the executive director of Kidz Kabaret Center Stage bought an AED for her Naperville theater, she had no idea they’d have use for it just a few months later.
But Robert McCue, who had a heart attack while attending his granddaughter’s performance in “Beauty and the Beast” on June 9, may be alive today because of Kandiss Hernandez’s just-in-case purchase.
It was McCue’s daughter, Mary McCue, a trained nurse, who jumped into action to save her 80-year-old father’s life. They were in the audience watching the performance by Casey Glassman, Mary McCue’s 10-year-old daughter, when the medical emergency occurred.
“His eyes just rolled back in his head and he just slumped down the wall,” Mary McCue said. “It was terrifying.”
McCue had never seen an AED — automated external defibrillator — at a theater so she was surprised when an employee showed up with one, she said.
Her father was unconscious and in full cardiac arrest when McCue began CPR. When the AED arrived, she administered two shocks with help from Hernandez and watched the life come back into her father’s eyes, McCue said.
CPR is necessary and good, but there’s nothing that can replace an AED,” she said. “I think AED’s should be mandatory (at all public places); I hope this is a wake-up call for businesses.”
“I’m grateful for listening to my intuition to buy (an AED),” Hernandez said.
She decided to make the purchase in mid-March after taking a grandparenting class before the arrival of her first grandson, Bo, she said. Among the subjects covered were CPR and AED usage, and it inspired her to purchase one for her theater, she said.
“At first I thought (the grandparenting class) was a joke. I’ve raised four kids,” Hernandez said.
“The stats about CPR shocked me, though. … Now that I had that knowledge, I thought, ‘I have to buy one,'” she said.
The AED was $1,500 and Hernandez hosted a few fundraisers to help cover the cost, she said.
“(The expense is) nothing when it comes to saving lives,” she said. “However, the price should be affordable for everyone.”
Robert McCue was released from the hospital before Father’s Day and is doing well, his daughter said. He has an ICD, or internal cardioverter defibrillator, installed that will stimulate the heartbeat in the event his heart goes into arrest again.
“I’m hoping in five to 10 years everybody has an AED,” Hernandez said.