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Family Makes a Difference After Tragedy

Posted by Valarie Brehm on 10/7/2010 to The Importance of AEDs
A Tuscon family that lost their loved one five years ago is quickly turning their heartache into a mission to help save the lives of others. Founding the Steven M. Gootter Foundation in honor of their lost loved one, the family has raised more than $1.5 million to help prevent other families and communities going through the same loss they did.

At 42, Steven Gootter was a healthy and athletic man. One day, while walking his beloved dog, he collapsed due to sudden cardiac arrest. Gootter died from SCA, which kills nearly one thousand people a day, more than AIDs and cancers combined.

"We were cheated. We lost him way too young and so it's been a tremendous loss," said Steven's sister Claudine Messing. "But we channeled our grief and our energies into the Foundation."

"If someone collapses from sudden cardiac arrest there is only one way that we are going to be able to save their lives begin by pressing on their chest, giving chest compressions, and having an AED available," said Clint McCall, Senior Director of Development of Sarver Heart Center.

The Steven M. Gootter Foundation provides AEDs to schools and other places where large groups gather.

We at AEDs Today encourage you to support the Steven M. Gootter Foundation. You can find them online at

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