Heartfelt Generosity from the King’s Daughters Health Foundation and King’s Daughters Auxiliary

 Heartfelt Generosity from the King’s Daughters Health Foundation and King’s Daughters Auxiliary

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

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            On Thursday, Feb. 22, the King’s Daughters Health Foundation alongside the King’s Daughters Auxiliary touched the lives of many as they presented a total of 25 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to various organizations and agencies across eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. This marked the program’s sixth year, and since its founding, they have handed out 150 AEDs to various organizations and agencies across eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio.


             An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that can deliver an electric shock through the chest and into the heart when it detects any type of abnormal rhythm and then changes the rhythm back to normal. AEDs help people who have a sudden cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating regularly. This happens when the heart’s natural electrical system doesn’t work correctly. If not treated within minutes, cardiac arrest quickly leads to death.

            Without access to AEDs lives can be lost. It is a proven fact that AEDs save lives, and they are of vital importance when responding to a cardiac arrest. Studies show that a person’s chance of survival can drop by an estimated seven to ten percent for every minute the heart remains out of normal rhythm. It is crucial for anyone suffering from a cardiac episode to have access to people who are trained in both CPR and AED usage. The use of both can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival! “Not only have the AEDs saved lives, but they have also given first responders and residents an added measure of comfort knowing that if something should happen, an AED will be accessible,” said Laura Patrick, Health Foundation Director.

Scott Hill, Executive Director of the KDMC Health Foundation, shared, “We started talking about this program back in 2018, and what we found out was that a lot of times it’s the fire department or the police department that arrives first on the scene of any emergency call, so we wanted to help get these devices into the hands of those who need most.” Hill pointed out that in a lot of rural areas local organizations and agencies may not always have the funds needed to purchase AED devices and that the King’s Daughters Health Foundation and King’s Daughters Auxiliary really wanted to be able to provide not only the life-saving service that an AED can provide but also the hands-on training on how to work and maintain one. “AEDs can be expensive, and purchasing one just isn’t in the budget for many rural or volunteer organizations,” Patrick noted. Hill added, “I’ve worked here for over 30 years, and UK Kings Daughters is just such a compassionate organization that is looking to make our community safer. Those are really key initiatives for us with this program.”

This year’s 2024 recipients of the AEDs are:

  • Ashland Independent Schools, Ashland, Ky.
  • Ashland Tennis Center, Ashland, Ky.
  • Heritage FWB Church, Ashland, Ky.
  • Holy Family Catholic School, Ashland, Ky.
  • Safe Harbor, Ashland, Ky.
  • Hitchins Free Will Baptist Church, Grayson, Ky.
  • Greenup County School District, Greenup, Ky.
  • Fallsburg Volunteer Fire Department, Louisa, Ky.
  • Louisa Fire Department, Louisa, Ky.
  • Johnson Central High School, Paintsville, Ky.
  • Middle Fork Volunteer Fire Department, Salyersville, Ky.
  • Salyersville Volunteer Fire Department, Salyersville, Ky.
  • Webbville Volunteer Fire Department, Webbville, Ky.
  • West Liberty Police, West Liberty, Ky.
  • University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Greenup County,

    Wurtland, Ky.

  • Wurtland Church of the Nazarene, Wurtland, Ky.
  • Wurtland Middle School, Wurtland, Ky.
  • Coal Grove Fire Department, Coal Grove, Ohio
  • Rock Hill School District, Ironton, Ohio
  • Elizabeth Township Volunteer Fire Department, Pedro, Ohio
  • Access Scioto County Public Transit, Portsmouth, Ohio
  • Beulah Baptist Church, Proctorville, Ohio
  • Solida Baptist Church, South Point, Ohio
  • Aid Township Volunteer Fire Company, Willow Wood, Ohio
  • Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, Willow Wood, Ohio

In addition to the defibrillator, recipients also received a case, adult and pediatric pads and batteries as well as training in its use and maintenance through King’s Daughters CPR Training Center. Those who receive AEDs also receive other benefits of the program such as equipment checks, replacement pads, and batteries for AEDs previously donated through the program. Funding for the AEDs comes from the sale of Heart Month apparel to King’s Daughters team members and fundraising activities of the KDMC Auxiliary, including gift shop sales. If you are looking for a way to play a small part in this amazing program, head on out to KDMC and pick up your Heart Month apparel available in the gift shop.

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