A gift worth celebrating
Carter Hansen has a lot to be thankful for … including the Mikey defibrillator that recently saved the 2-year-old’s life.
The defibrillator, provided through the Mikey’s Kids program, was on standby at the Hansen family’s Nobleton home after the youngster was diagnosed with a benign heart tumour. In early December, Carter went into arrhythmia and his parents, Craig and Jennifer, used the Mikey to save their son.
In May, 2012, Carter went cardiac arrest due to the previously undiagnosed tumor. “The paramedics got a rhythm back after 27 minutes, but the resulting significant brain injury kept us at SickKids and Holland Bloorview Children’s Rehab Hospital for 6 months,” Craig said, “and we’re still fighting to regain as much of our son’s co-ordination, vision and speech as we can.
“We went home a month ago with an AED from the Mikey Network, knowing that any further arrest would be incredibly critical. Neurologists told us that by the time EMS arrived, it would be too late. Our only chance was the defibrillator.”
Carter went into arrhythmia again on Dec. 4 and his parents immediately started CPR. “Because of the training supplied by the Mikey Network, we had his shirt off and the pads on him well ahead of the voice prompts from the AED, which analyzed and advised a shock, which we delivered. The change in our son was immediate,” Craig recalls. “He started breathing on his own again. We observed him and kept the AED on him until EMS arrived.”
The Mikey Network, founded in 2003, works to create public awareness and provide education about heart-healthy lifestyles. To date, 15 lives have been saved, over 1,300 Mikey defibrillators have been placed across Canada and 11,000 people have been trained in CPR/AED.
The Mikey Network was named for Mike Salem, a valued partner at Heathwood Homes and The Heron Group, who experienced sudden cardiac arrest and died on a golf course in 2002.
His good friend, Hugh Heron, president of Heatwood Homes, founded the Mikey Network in Salem’s honour.
“When a child has a serious cardiac problem, the family lives in constant fear, knowing the heart can skip a beat at any moment,” said Heron. “The Mikey’s Kids program provides families with portable Mikeys so these children can lead more normal lives.”
“You guys gave us another chance with our son. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Craig said.