Parent Heart Watch
CHEEKTOWAGA, NY- 50 automated external defibrillators were donated to volunteer fire companies Monday night in honor of a five-year-old girl who passed away from sudden cardiac arrest.
In the the 13 years since her daughter Madison's death, Suzy McCarthy has placed hundred of AEDs across Western New York through the work of the Madison McCarthy Cardiac Care Coalition for Children foundation.
"So far in New York State we saved 96 lives and 49 have been children, just in a school setting," Suzy McCarhty said.
In 2001, Madison McCarthy suffered sudden cardiac arrest while attending kindergarten at Southtowns Catholic School. The school did not have an AED at the time, something that could have saved her life.
"[The donations] will never bring her back, but I couldn't be more proud of her memory and what she's done," Suzy McCarthy said.
The AEDs were donated by Bob and Mary Wynne and their company Cardiac Life to volunteer fire companies who otherwise couldn't afford them.
"We have selected the most needy volunteer fire departments in the area, who are first responders to have defibrillators to help support the community," Mary Wynne said.
The fire companies say these AEDs will save lives.
"This is one of our primary life saving devices. For cardiac arrest, there is no option besides an AED. It's going on our chiefs' vehicles and mutual aid vehicles," Garrett Cleversley of the Nested Fire Department said.
425,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest..
'It's imperative that we continue to have good CPR training and put defibrillators in the community," Mary Wynne said.