GENOA – Matt Krueger is promoting the widespread installation of devices such as the one that saved his life in March.
Krueger had cardiac arrest while playing basketball at a church in St. Charles on March 2. He began to feel lightheaded during the game, then passed out as his heart went into ventricular defibrillation.
“My doctor’s report said that I had sudden cardiac death,” he said.
It was primarily the fast thinking of Krueger’s friends and the presence of an automated external defibrillator in the church that allowed Krueger, a husband and father of four, to live to tell his tale.
“One of the crazy things I have learned is that 360,000 people die a year from cardiac arrest, and 92 percent of those people have a weird heart rhythm and you triple the survival rate if you use an AED or CPR,” said Krueger, 37, who has had a variety of cardiac problems since he was 18.
AEDs are becoming common in businesses, gyms and other public areas as they become more affordable and easier to use. The unit gives audio instructions to the rescuer on how to place adhesive pads on the patient’s chest, and will administer an electric shock only if it detects a defibrillation or other irregularities in the heartbeat.
The manufacturer of the AED that saved Krueger, HeartSine, donates an AED to a charity or other organization on behalf of any individual whose life has been saved by one of its devices. Krueger chose to donate an AED to his family’s church, CrossWind Community Church in Genoa. His health scares over the years have strengthened his faith in God, and his journey in faith was featured on “The 700 Club” in 2011.
“We have only had (the AED) for a couple of weeks, so we are planning on doing some classes on it,” said James Freund, senior pastor at the Genoa church. “I can’t believe that we haven’t gotten one before because we do a lot of activities besides just church services.”
To learn more about AEDs and CPR classes, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org or the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.