Last year, millions of people around the world watched in disbelief as Damar
Hamlin, a professional football player for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, experienced
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) mid-game on live television. Fortunately,
Hamlin received immediate attention from onsite medical professionals,
including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an Automated
External Defibrillator (AED) before being rushed to a local hospital.
SCA can happen to anyone, regardless of age, and it can strike without
warning. SCA is the leading cause of death in young athletes under 18 years
old. Survival rates from a cardiac event without chest compressions or
defibrillation are essentially zero, but with early bystander CPR and a
defibrillation shock provided within less than three minutes after collapse, the
AED survival rate can be 50-70 percent. Studies repeatedly show that a rapid
response is the most crucial element to survival.

St. Mary-Basha Catholic School in Chandler was recently selected to
receive an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from the Professional
Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) Tackles SCA Initiative. Recognizing
the importance of having AEDs readily available for student athletes and on
every sideline, the PFATS Foundation launched a grant application through
which schools and youth sports programs selected would receive the
life-saving device. The initiative aims to raise awareness and distribute AEDs
through a partnership with PFATS, Henry Schein Medical, Defibtech
Company and the NFL.

“This grant along with all-faculty and staff annual training in CPR/AED/First
Aid reflects our unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of our
students and community”, said Kathleen Lyon, principal, St. Mary-Basha
Catholic School.

Drew Kreuger, head athletic trainer for the Arizona Cardinals presented the
AED to Principal Lyon and Colleen Merrell, RN, BSN, OCN, director of
advancement at the Cardinals Training facility on behalf of PFATS and the
NFL. Also in attendance for the presentation was Ben Steele, tight end
coach for the Cardinals and parent of students attending St.
Mary-Basha. Steele noted as both a coach and more importantly as a St.
Mary-Basha school parent, “It is crucial that fields and facilities from grade
schools to the pros are equipped and prepared to save someone’s life”.

Amy Thompson, PE teacher and athletic director, believes that having this
life-saving device on campus at St. Mary-Basha will not only enhance our
emergency response capabilities but also provide peace of mind to our
students, their families, our spectators and the wider community.

About St. Mary-Basha Catholic School

St. Mary-Basha Catholic School is a Preschool-8th grade private school located in
Chandler, AZ. St. Mary-Basha opened in 1944 and has an enrollment of over 400
students. For more information or to tour our school, visit