Community celebrates AED donation that saved student’s life

Published: Jan. 18, 2013

Sparrow physicians, community members, and coaches whose collective efforts recently saved the life of a student athlete will be recognized in an appreciation ceremony by the Ovid-Elsie Board of Education at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21.

Chris Fowler, a sophomore, collapsed on Oct. 9, 2012, during practice on the school's football field. Coaches performed CPR and skillfully used an automated external defibrillator, or AED, to put Chris's heart back into a normal rhythm.

The AED that saved Chris's life is one of 39 donated to area schools since 2003 by the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Healthcare Foundation (TCHF), now known as the Sparrow Clinical Research Institute (SCRI).

Expected at the ceremony is the family of Dan Taylor, a father whose sudden cardiac death in 2000 led them to start raising money with TCHF for cardiology research. Monies raised through golf outings initially went to a clinical study into sudden death in young athletes, but when the study concluded three years later, the focus changed to providing AED's to area schools.

"When I was contacted by the Taylor family about raising money, I did not know what to expect. I attended the dinner after their first golf outing and they just started handing me cash. It grew from there into a nine-year effort," said Nancy Miller, Administrative Director for Sparrow Clinical Research Institute.

Each AED was delivered to the schools by a Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute cardiologist or fellow so that they could provide instruction on how to use the device and answer questions. When Dr. Daryl Melvin, MD, a TCI cardiologist, delivered the AED to Ovid-Elsie several years ago, it was a chance to visit his alma mater. He, along with Chris's treating physician Dr. Monica Goble, MD, will also be recognized at the ceremony.

The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Healthcare Foundation, a non-profit medical research foundation, joined with Sparrow in 2012 to form the Sparrow Clinical Research Institute, providing expanded clinical research into medical specialties, cutting edge technologies and treatments.