Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph E. Montemarano, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
EVERETT, Wash. – Sailors, first responders, and civilians gathered to install an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), donated by Lion Heart Heroes Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, at Naval Station Everett track and field, Feb. 24.
In honor of Lance Cpl. David Finlayson who died at age 25 of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) during a five-mile training run with his battalion in Hawaii, the Lion Heart Heroes Foundation seeks to promote heart health in the military community.
“Our goal is to prevent sudden cardiac arrest deaths by raising awareness and promoting screening of recruits during Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) screenings,” said Executive Director and Washington native Laurie Finlayson, mother of Lance Cpl. Finlayson.
SCA is the most common cause of non-accidental death among military recruits and the leading cause of death among physically active young adults. Many who suffer a SCA have no prior symptoms.
“It is important to be aware of heart health, because you never know,” said Laurie Finlayson. “There are a lot of factors that play into heart health, such as genetics and electrical complications only an electrocardiogram can detect.”
Rapid delivery of an AED can significantly increase survival rates of a SCA. Having an AED present at physical fitness centers and events will reduce the amount of time it takes to retrieve the necessary equipment needed to prevent death.
“I hope to see in the near future a world where we can put AEDs on drones,” said John Finlayson, father of Lance Cpl. Finlayson. “That way if there’s a base exercise like David’s five-mile run, the drone can get there in the two minutes to provide resuscitation.”
When someone suffers a SCA, only a shock from an AED within the first few minutes will make the heart beat again.
For more information about SCA or how to donate, visit http://www.LionHeartHeroes.org or Facebook.com/lionheartheroes.