Lifesaving Equipment now part of every Lee County School

Lifesaving Equipment Now Part of Every Lee County School
Posted on 08/23/2018
Lifesaving Equipment Now Part of Every Lee County School

Fort Myers High School Freshman Zac Syska nearly died just two days before last Christmas. The 14 year old had a heart attack while out running. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) brought him back to life.

“I felt dizzy and lightheaded after my workout. I sat down by a tree and passed out,” Syska explains. “My coach resuscitated me and I woke up at Golisano Children’s Hospital.”

Since June, Zac has been helping The School District of Lee County’s elementary and middle schools become Project Adam Heart Safe. Lee Health donated $150,000 to the School District so at least one AED could be placed in our 45 elementary schools, 16 middle schools and our special centers.

“The immediate use of an AED can be lifesaving if needed during an Emergency Cardiac Response,” said Sue Grohs, Assistant Director of Health Services. “To date, only High Schools were equipped with an AED. Now, working with Armando Llechu, Chief Administrative Officer of Golisano Children’s Services, all Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, and Special Centers will also have an AED in a quickly accessible location. The District is very grateful to Golisano Children’s Hospital for this very generous gift. “

Working in partnership with Lee Health, Project Adam and Lee County’s Department of Public Safety, each school now has a trained Cardiac Response Team of three to five members and an emergency plan. Each school is also considered Project Adam Heart Safe, a designation earned by implementing the awareness, training and response program.

“More often than not, sudden cardiac arrest in children and adolescents occurs without prior symptoms or warning,” said Armando Llechu, Chief Administrative Officer for Golisano Children’s Services. “Thankfully an AED and trained operator saved Zac’s life. He is our inspiration. The devices being donated today will make the schools in our region safer and the training provided by our EMS partners will help staff be better prepared for potential life-threatening emergencies. A heartfelt thank you to the Golisano Children’s Hospital donors and all of our community partners who made today possible.”

The School District of Lee County has more than 96,000 students, 11,000 teachers and staff, and thousands more parents and guests on our campuses every day. This kind of focused effort on cardiac arrest preparedness is critical to their safety.