Save Date: 02/9/03
Activity: Hockey Game
For 23 years Ron Dundon had been playing hockey in order to get exercise and stay in shape. He never expected a cardiac arrest would strike him. But following a hard shift on the ice during a game in February 2003, he sat down on the bench and collapsed. His heart had stopped beating and he was clinically dead.
Playing on Ron's team was Sergeant Scott Merlo and against him in goal was Officer Chris Kotecki, both of whom were off-duty Kalamazoo Public Safety officers. They, along with Paul Rigby, an EMS technician who happened to be a referee for the game, began CPR moments after Ron collapsed. Emergency help was summoned and within minutes a nearby Kalamazoo police cruiser responded and brought a defibrillator just as the Lawson Ice Arena attendant was retrieving the one in the building.
With the defibrillator the rescuers restarted Ron's heart within 5 minutes of the cardiac arrest. And thanks to the expert CPR there were no aftereffects from the episode.
Several blocked arteries were to blame for Ron's cardiac arrest. Following surgery he made a full recovery. But without the expert help of the rescuers and the quick response with an AED, Ron would never have seen another hockey game.
Following his recovery, Ron joined forces with Evelyn Schmidt, mother of another survivor, to found the AED Fund of Kalamazoo County. This non-profit has placed dozens of AEDs with county fire departments and is sponsoring low-cost CPR classes. Ron became an AHA-certified CPR/AED instructor and has spoken to 30+ area clubs and organizations.
Ron's philosophy: "Life is sweet. Every day is a good day."