Woman donates AED after losing her husband to a heart attack

Published: Mar. 4, 2020 at 4:53 PM CST
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After losing her husband, a woman in Stone County is hoping to spare other families the same pain.

Pam Stoddard donated an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the Wishwood Neighborhood down State Highway Y between Cape Fair and Reeds Spring.

"I looked back and he's on the ground," Stoddard said.

She recalled the day her husband Randy had a heart attack at their family cabin on Table Rock Lake. Neighbors tried to perform CPR, but it wasn't enough to save him.

"The doctors told me a defibrillator would have been the only thing that would have saved him," Stoddard said.

It took about 20 minutes for first responders to get to the scene and emergency workers say AEDs need to be used within the first five minutes of a medical emergency.

So, instead of funeral flowers, Pam asked for donations to help buy an Automated External Defibrillator.

"If we can change the outcome for one family," Stoddard said.

She covered the rest of the $2,500 and placed the AED in an outdoor box in the shared pavilion.

"We have eleven cabins in this vicinity," Stoddard said. "We had the fire department come down and they trained people on using the AED."

Resort owners just up the road say the AED will also help them.

"First responders, it's a long drive. It's a curvy road," Cedar Hollow Resort Owner James Kavanaugh said. "If something happens to one of my guests, we have a lot of older folks, that that's an option."

While Stoddard hopes no one will ever have to use it, it is now an option that could help save other families from the same heartache she's living with.

"Nobody should have to lose their spouse early, or their dad, or definitely not their grandpa," Stoddard said.

If you want to buy an AED for the area where you live, it's a good idea to let your local fire department know, so emergency crews know where machines are located throughout their community.