Leon Hurt

Special to the Grove Sun

You have heard of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have a true story of being in the right place at the right time.

April 2, 2009, I was the guest speaker at the Jay Chamber of Commerce banquet and in the middle of my speech I collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest…sudden death.

According the American Heart Association, approximately 325,000 Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year and more than 95% of them die before reaching the hospital. If CPR and defibrillation are not applied within 10 minutes, there is virtually no chance of survival.

That night a large crowd witnessed this tragedy. As people began to pray, someone remembered that the Bulldog Arena had an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). As they ran to get it, others were making their way to the stage where I had fallen.

They tell me my wife was the first one there and I believe this because I know how much she loves me. Two friends, a respiratory therapist and a firefighter, who “happened” to be in attendence have become closer friends after administering CPR and the AED to save my life. I was truly in the right place at the right time with the right people.

I will never forget what happened that night and it is now my passion to educate our county on why we need more AEDs in public places. Because of an A.E.D. (Automated External Defibrillator), I can walk with my D.A.D. (Dad and Daughter).

Friends, knowing that I wanted to start a county-wide heart walk, have helped and encouraged me to see what we can do together. Our goal is to promote physical activity such as walking and to raise awareness of the number one leading cause of death, heart disease.

Our mission for this first year is to purchase more AEDs to go in much needed areas of our county. We live in the greatest nation on earth, but I believe Delaware County, Oklahoma is the best 792 square miles of it.

Come join the 10 Delaware County Heart Walk teams who will be walking and raising money to purchase AEDs.

The “Walk for Shock” is a 5K (3.1 miles) walk being held on October 23, 2010 at 9 a.m. at the Jay Community Fitness Trail next to the Bulldog Arena.

If you are unable to walk, bring your chair and cheer us on.

You (or a loved one) may never need an AED or someone trained in CPR, but if you did, will our county be ready to help?

If you would like to donate to the Delaware County Heart Walk, an account has been set up at the Grand Savings Bank.

For more information, you can call 918-791-1615 or 918-791-8731.