A letter from Wayne Scott father of WILD students Jordan and Joel Scott. The Scott family has asked us to publish this story as much as possible to increase awareness of the value of AED's.
Subject: inspirational happy ending story and extolling the life saving AED machines. This past September 2 of my sons enrolled in a 3 month program (called WILD, learning whitewater rescue,wilderness first aid and EMT training) with an outdoor adventure company (Esprit, based on the Ottawa river by Davidson Quebec) Their program started in Northern Quebec, USA, and working south to Mexico. They were in Mexico from mid October to the end of November.
On Tuesday the 18 November 2008 I received a very frantic call from my son Jordon (age 21) that my son Joel (age 25) was in an intensive care unit in a Mexican hospital on life support. We received the call around 2:30 pm our time. I found out that he was in a Kayak going through class 2 whitewater and that suddenly his Kayak overturned and that he did not right it immediately. Jordon saw this and went back upstream and got his brother Joel out of the Kayak to shore and immediately started CPR.
Miraculously their was a raft right there that had an AED (Automatic Electric Defibrilator) machine on it, and another young person Caleb put the machine on my son Joel. He activated it twice, starting Joels heart. They called the Esprit base for transport, got him in a van which was another miracle that one was near by in remote Mexico. The adventure company staff and Wild students continued with CPR and drove Joel to a hospital in Xalapa Mexico.
My wife and I could not get a flight to Mexico until 8:00 am Wednesday 2 of our children and a friend of Joels got a flight at 9:00 Wednesday my daughter Amie flew in from New York on Wednesday as well for a total of 6 of us on route. Working the logistics out of the travel was Quite overwhelming it seemed like the amazing race only the Scott family travel purpose was much more important than anything Monetary. My wife and I arrived in Mexico at 1m and got to Vera Cruz at 4:00pm we were met by Esprit staff and drove 2 hours to Xalapa. Arrangements for us to see Joel at 7:00 pm were made with the hospital staff.
Prior to going into the hospital my wife and I were meet by all the WILD students and Esprit staff with flowers and cards to show their support for Joel and our family (most of the students and staff slept on the hospital lawn to see Joel off). We meet with the ICU doctor and then went into see Joel. My other 3 children and Joels friend arrived at 12:00 and went in to see him in ICU. Arrangements were made for a medivac flight from Vera Cruz at 6:00am Thursday went to the hospital at 4:00am Thurs and paid the hospital bill to discharge Joel. at 5:00am we followed the ambulance 100kms (Mexican 100kms) to the airport in Vera Cruz where we meet the Canadian medivac crew, it took the crew 2 hours to stabilize Joel for the flight on the Lear jet to London , Ontario. As it turned out the flight had to land in Toronto, because of a heavy snowstorm, then they send him by ambulance down the 401 in a snowstorm to London. Mean while my wife and I got on a plane to Mexico city at 8:00am our children rearranged their flights and meet us in Mexico thence we flew onto Toronto.
We went through the airport and meet 2 friends who said they had some good news for us, that Joel was now conscious, tubes were out and breathing on his own and that he knew his brother Jordon and was asking where he was. There were a few tears at this time. We drove from Toronto to London to the London Health Science centre where Joel was in the cardiac care unit. Hospital staff allowed us 2 at a time to go in and see Joel. He was sitting up in bed smiling and quite giddy from all the drugs in his system and was amazed he was in London. I was told by a Nurse that a Cardiologist and interns went to see Joel the Dr. told the interns that this boy not only was revived from a stopped heart but he drown and was revived without any brain damage, apparently the word miracle was used.
During this incident Jordon and other young people were on their laptops talking to friends on face book and skype phones all over Canada and the world. Joel had a defibulator implanted 27 Nov 08 and was discharged from hospital later that day, 8 days after his kayak incident. The above is an overview of what happened there are many more astounding details to this story. . We would like to convey to the world , that CPR training AED (Automated Electronic Defibrilator) and PAD machines do save people.The hospital staff were astounded that , the adventure company had an AED machine and knew how to use it. Comments I heard from the WILD students were that Espirt was the only adventure company they knew of that has an AED machine. I hope that more groups have them in the future, so there may be more good news stories.
Sincerly, Wayne Scott
Joel had previously been diagnosed with a heart condition called hypertrophic cardio myopathy... which in short means "an enlarged heart". This is the same condition that you here about when athletes suddenly drop on the playing field. He had been cleared medically to participate in WILD and we suspect (but do not know for sure) that this was related to his capsize.
It is not uncommon for people with heart related conditions to live an active and adventurous life... but ... medically ... we are all "an experiment of one" and suddenly Joel was upside down. There is a lot of learning from this story... and many steps along the way that contributed to Joel's successful recovery.... the first of which were having a SAT phone and AED on hand to make the save and evacuation happen quickly.
As a previous poster mentioned... it is important the subject is out of the water... dried off and that there is no water connecting the subject and the rescuers.