On September 10, 2022, it will be one year since the sudden passing of Cornwall local, Gilles Gagnier, from a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 51. In memory of their brother, Gillesʼ sisters Denise Gagnier Acker and Claire Pecore, along with his wife Nancy Kelly have raised over $8,000 to install a SaveStation with an Automated External Defibrilator (AED) in Riverdale Park.
This launch will introduce the first 24/7 accessible, wall mounted SaveStation cabinet in Cornwall, Ontario. The cabinet will house a Lifepak CR2 AED. The technology built into this SaveStation allows for 24/7 monitoring of the AED to ensure it is always ‘ready for rescue’. This cabinet also keeps the AED warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
“Gilles grew up in Cornwall and always held a special place in his heart for his community, and its residents. As an avid athlete all his life, he is a testament to the fact that sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone,” says the SaveStation crowdfunding page, ‟In memory of Gilles, this SaveStation with life-saving AED is accessible to everyone at the park and in the immediate area.”
From the moment he was diagnosed with heart disease at the young age of 40, Gilles wanted to become involved and help educate about the disease.
Education is also a big part of SaveStationʼs mission. Their website states, ‟SaveStation is also … a public awareness program that is providing critical education about CPR and how to use an AED. With just 4 minutes to save a life, we need the public to feel confident to take action in an emergency. Knowing where to go and what to do when witnessing Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the first step to save a life.”
According to 2017–2018 data from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS) about 1 in 12 (or 2.6 million) Canadian adults aged 20 and over live with diagnosed heart disease. Every hour, about 14 Canadian adults aged 20 and over with diagnosed heart disease die.
“Riverdale Park is at the heart of our community. It is where families gather for a picnic. We see children playing on the structures and enjoying the splash pads,” explains the crowdfunding team, “It is common to see teenagers playing on the basketball courts. The tennis courts are always busy with people practicing the sport they love! It is an excellent place to install a public AED.”
There was a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a brief demonstration of the AED on Saturday, September 10th at 1pm in Riverdale Park, Cornwall. This date was been chosen since it marked the one year anniversary of Gilles’ passing.
Thank you to Gilles Gagnier all those involved for introducing this live saving technology to our community!