Saturday night B and I went out to dinner with the Sunday School class. It was a wine and dine; four courses with a wine for each one. It was a lot of fun, and the wine was good. Our class is so funny and not too uptight at all.
Today I cried during church when the the congregation sang "And God will lift you up on eagle's wings" I couldn't help thinking about W.
I started a grief recovery class tonight, given by our church. One of my assignments for the week is to start a journal. They had journals for everyone, but since I was one of the last to show up, I didn't get one because they had run out. They are supposed to bring me one next week, so I guess I am off the hook for this week!
We were supposed to write about our feelings after the first session. It was surprisingly difficult for me, and I cried a lot more than I thought I would. The other women in the class had very sad stories of course, and I guess that really causes one to dwell on things. This will be a lot harder than I thought.
Finally, I finished my letter on behalf of the AED fundraising effort at our school district. I have included it behind a cut for anyone who would like to comment.
Imagine a summer day in a gym. High school students are playing floor hockey. One of them sits down on the bleachers during a break. Suddenly, he collapses. Staff members and fellow students hurry to his side. Some of them know CPR; a friend of his has taken the class, and so she stays with him as the coach calls for help. The coaches, nurse and principals rush to the scene. They don’t really know this young man; it’s only the second day of summer school. They just know that their calling is to protect and care for their students. The paramedics arrive 11 minutes after he collapses. They use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and other life saving measures; they speed him to the local hospital. However, he cannot be revived. His heart had gone into an irregular rhythm so quickly that the 3-5 minute window of opportunity to restore it had passed before the paramedics could reach him.
Now imagine a day in the fall, less than four months later. Another young man collapses in a gym not 25 miles from the previous gym. This staff is not any more caring or conscientious than the staff at our first school. However, this school has an AED available to the staff, and they know how to use it. The nurse rushes to his side, and is able to restore his heart rhythm. The paramedics are able to take him to a hospital where he can undergo treatment.
The young man in the first story was my son. He was 16, active in Scouts and church. He had his license, and was proud to be the driver of a Honda mini-van, even though it wasn’t a fancy sports car. He was looking forward to going to college to study for a career in programming video games. He won’t be doing that. And our lives are forever changed.
I can’t tell you the name of the young man in the second story. When a child is still alive, laws protect his privacy. I am sure he means just as much to his friends and family as W did to us.
AEDs can mean the difference between life and death for a child, and the difference between grief and gratitude for his family. PISD has committed to training their staff in how to use AEDs so that a tragedy like my son’s can be avoided. Please don’t leave these caring teachers, coaches and nurses empty-handed. Give them the tools to save a life.