Langley City firefighters delivered a life-saving piece of equipment to Douglas Park Community Elementary School last Thursday morning, with a special student in mind.
Grade 4 student Malaki Carr started attending Douglas Park last year, and has a heart condition that sometimes requires the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED), a device that delivers electric shock to the heart to stop irregular heartbeats.
According to Langley City firefighter Chris Miley, no school in Langley carries a defibrillator on hand.
After word spread that Malaki requires an AED, Langley City firefighters donated their own money towards purchasing the unit for Douglas Park elementary–making it the first school in Langley to be equipped with an AED.
Malaki’s mother Janeillia Carr, explained Malaki was born with a condition that the family is not completely sure of.
“It has to do with his heart so the doctors and the cardiologist have made it a universal diagnosis of prolonged QT. Most babies outgrow the heart problems or palpitations, but that didn’t happen for Malaki. It just got progressively worse when he was at rest or sitting down to read a book or something like that. He’s been proclaimed dead five times.”
After receiving the AED from the firefighters, Malaki wore a big smile, and said the device is “a little heavy.”
“I think it’s a lot safer for the school and especially me.”
Miley said an AED device costs approximately $3,000 and is “hard to get” and “really expensive.”
“As soon as we heard about Malaki and the issues he has, we thought it was very important that he gets one of these. This one is state of the art, it matches seamlessly with our equipment, with first aid equipment, ambulance equipment.”
Miley said he hopes the AED will be the starting point for all schools to carry the life-saving unit.
“It’s important they’re everywhere. If we could have one of these on every street corner, we would. Hopefully this is the start. They save lives.”
According to Miley, the AED is user-friendly, as it’s fully automatic and portable.