Who You Gonna Call?

In a couple of weeks, the Ghostbusters Reboot will hit the theaters. The original was a classic. I was fourteen when it was released back in 1984. I can’t believe it’s been that long.

That was the era of great movie sequels- Star Wars, Back to the Future, The Karate Kid and Indiana Jones. They’re still great today, and I love watching them with my kids. The same is true for Ghostbusters.

The original Ghostbusters was a game changer. It made the topic of ghosts funny. It made hunting ghosts comical. Think about how we viewed ghosts before this movie. In the 1970s, we watched the Exorcist, the Omen, Dawn of the Dead and Carrie. In 1980, it was American Werewolf in London, Pet Cemetery, Poltergeist and the Howling. Not so funny. I won’t be watching those with my kids any time soon.

Ghostbusters taught us how to have fun with a scary topic.

The 1980s also witnessed the introduction of the first Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). The concept of defibrillation came about in 1956 by Paul Zoll. Unfortunately, this technology was kept out of the hands of the public until 2002. This was another great year for sequels: Harry Potter, The Bourne Identity and Lord of the Rings.

An AED device is a machine that evaluates the heart’s rhythm, and then if needed, delivers a shock to correct that rhythm. If there is not a problem, the machine will not let you deliver a shock. Hopefully, you’ve seen them in public places like schools, malls and airports. It is the only thing that can save someone from cardiac arrest. Think about that. Without an AED, you don’t have much of a chance for survival.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of mystery around AED devices. For instance, on many AED storage cases, it says things like “Trained Responders Only.” This statement is completely false and makes people scared to use this life-saving technology.

An AED is a smart machine. It assesses a patient’s heart and determines if a shock is needed. It tells the bystander exactly what to do. So, you need to know two things: how to turn on a machine and then listen to a machine. You don’t need training.

Like ghosts, AEDs and cardiac arrest don’t have to be scary. With minimal knowledge, you can be prepared to save a life.

Think of it like this. You have friends who know how to jump a car and friends who do not. Those who know, can use the right equipment and solve the problem. Those who do not, will avoid the equipment and call for help. In either scenario, your friend will be driving her car again, in due time.

When it comes to cardiac arrest, we don’t have the luxury of time. Waiting for a third party is not in your friend’s best interest. For each minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival decreases by 10%.

Simon’s Fund has borrowed a play out of Ivan Reitman’s playbook. This is the organization that I started following the sudden death of my son, Simon. It wants to de-scarify the subject of cardiac arrest the way that he did with ghosts.

Simon’s Fund created a Ghostbusters-inspired music video called Heartsavers. Instead of using proton packs to rid New York City of ghosts, Heartsavers use AED devices to save the lives of students. The video follows three students (and two Philly mascots) around school and documents what happens when each experiences cardiac arrest. The song was rearranged, the lyrics were changed, and it was casted with some special people. Lindsay Davis (Miss Ohio) and Michaela Gagne (Miss Massachusetts) retired from competitive sports after being diagnosed with heart conditions. Kristina Nelson, forward for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women’s Basketball Team, lost her brother, Jeremy, to cardiac arrest.

Check it out and share it with your friends. Help raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and teach kids how to save a life. At the very least, teach them who to call – Heartsavers.

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