Mother's Loss Leads To Defibrillators Going Into Kern Schools - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Mother's Loss Leads To Defibrillators Going Into Kern Schools


Contributor: Courtney Bryant - KBAK Bakersfield

Centennial High School is the first in the Kern High School District to receive an AED or automatic external defibrillator.

Courtney Bryant from KMPH's news partner KBAK in Bakersfield shows us how one woman's loss became a four year fight to get the AEDs in schools.

Olivia Corrine Hoff was 14-years-old when she went into cardiac arrest at school.

Her mother, Corrine Ruiz, is convinced an AED could have saved her daughter's life. "I made it my mission to make sure that this doesn't happen to another young student, and this means a lot to me," said Ruiz.

It took Ruiz nearly four years to get approval from school administrators. "They were afraid of liability issues, in case the AED did not work properly. There were times I wanted to give up; it was very hard for me. My daughter was always my strength though, whenever I felt like giving up," said Ruiz.

Medical professionals say for every minute a patient goes without defibrillation; the chances of survival go down 10%.

Joe Finson with the Via Foundation says just having the device nearby may save a lives. "The whole idea is to get the AED out there to the patient right away, hopefully within 3 to 4 minutes, and we have a really excellent chance of survival," said Finson.

Help didn't come soon enough for Caleb Hannick. He died of cardiac arrest while attending class at Centennial High.

Administrators are hopeful something like that will never happen again.

Lloyd Benson assistant principal at Centennial High School said, "We feel very honored that Corrine selected Centennial High in honor of Caleb Hannick. It's another way of possibly saving a life, and so we feel fortunate for our students and staff to be able to have a device on campus."

Now other schools in the Kern High School District will go the way of Centennial, receiving their own AEDs by the end of the week.

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