When Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the team bench earlier this month, a series of events quickly came together to save his life.
His teammates noticed the problem almost immediately, bringing the game to a halt so he could get prompt attention. A highly-trained and well-rehearsed medical team came together and did their jobs as successfully as humanly possible.
And the presence of an automated external defibrillator (AED) allowed that medical team to get Peverley's heart back into a normal rhythm in the span of a little more than a minute.
The AED undoubtedly played a huge role in saving Peverley's life that terrifying night, and the devices have made an enormous impact on the rate of successful outcomes for all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. The rate of revival from sudden cardiac arrest is at least three times as high, and many be as high as 15 times more, if there is an AED present.
Because of that, and in honor of both Peverley and the medical team that saved his life, we here at DBD want to pass that gift of better outcomes on by fundraising for the purchase of one (or more) AEDs. We are partnering with Living For Zachary, a Plano-based nonprofit founded in memory of Zach Schrah, a 16-year-old Plano high school football player who died from sudden cardiac arrest at practice in 2009, to raise money toward an AED to be donated to a place in the Metroplex that serves young people.
It costs $2,000 to donate each AED, which is designed to be used by bystanders as well as trained medical personnel, and the funds raised by DBD readers and others who donate to the campaign will be earmarked for this cause.
[Ed. Note on 3/31 - We have reached our first goal of $2,000, which means we can donate at least one AED. That is amazing, you guys. Now we're working on the funding of, either in total or in part, a second AED. Even though we have reached our first goal, the fundraiser is far from over! And thank you so much for helping us reach our first goal so quickly.]
There are two ways to make a donation.
DBD CrowdTilt Page
The first is to simply make a donation to the above CrowdTilt page, which is set up to send the donations directly to Living for Zachary. The "tilt" level, or level at which the credit cards will be charged, is when the campaign reaches $1,000 pledged, and the site can also give you a receipt for tax purposes.
For those of you who have never used crowdfunding sites before, CrowdTilt is a page that aggregates donations in a fundraiser and sends them to the beneficiaries as a lump sum. Living for Zachary has set up an account as well and will receive the money directly through the website.
If you'd like to make this a bit more interactive, you can make a pledge to donate based on events that happen in the continuation of the game between the Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets, which will take place on April 9. For instance, you can pledge $1 per shot on goal for either team or $1,000 for each goal by Kari Lehtonen or Tim Thomas. The money for those pledges will also be collected through the CrowdTilt site in the days after the game.
A form to track both types of donations is located below. Please fill that out if you make a donation or pledge so we can thank you properly at the end of the fundraiser. The form is editable, so if your circumstances change or you'd like to donate more or less, you can always come back later to update it.
[Ed. note: If you made your pledge before we changed to a form, I do still have your pledge/donation information and will be able to update it for you at your request. Sorry for the inconvenience!]
The CrowdTilt site will be accessible for 29 days from today, which means it can accept donations until late on the evening of Saturday, April 19th. If you go the route of making a pledge for the Jackets game, make sure to have your payment in by that time.
We've invited our friends from The Cannon as well as blogs representing Peverley's previous teams (Stanley Cup of Chowder, On the Forecheck and Arctic Ice Hockey) and the Dallas Stars forum over at Hockey's Future to participate, and we'd like to thank our friends over at PensBurgh for allowing us to model some of this off their successful fundraiser earlier this year.
Of course, this campaign isn't limited to readers of those blogs or forums - share this anywhere you think people might be interested. If we raise more than $2,000, that money will go toward the donation of a second (or more!) AED. And there will be a small token of thanks to the largest donor.
If you have any questions about the charity we've chosen to support, the structure of the fundraiser or AEDs themselves, feel free to ask them in the comments or contact myself or Taylor via e-mail or Twitter.
AEDs save lives. We saw a demonstration of that on March 10 at the American Airlines Center. Young T. J. Ramos, who got to meet the team in Philadelphia, is another example.
Help us make sure other such stories have equally happy endings.