A major donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador means that soon every school in the province will have access to machines that could save a child's life in the event of a cardiac arrest.
The donation of $400,000 from the N.L. Building Construction Trades Council (NLBCTC) will fund the completion of the Automated External Defibrillators In Schools program and place a machine in every school in the province.
The program had previously stalled halfway through its target of installing AEDs in all schools after the Heart and Stroke Foundation ran out of funding for the project.
"It is our sincere hope that with this financial commitment by our members the Heart and Stroke Foundation will make great strides in equipping schools that are not yet cardiac safe," said Darin King, executive director of the NLBCTC.
Heart and Stroke Foundation CEO Mary Ann Butt said the donation may mean the difference between life or death for students.
She recalled an incident on Nov 7, 2016 when an 11-year-old suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at the Robert French Memorial Stadium in Conception Bay South and was brought back by an AED that had been installed there by the foundation.
"Paramedics stated after the emergency that it was very unlikely that this boy would have survived without the AED," she said.
"Should his heart have arrested during school hours the outcome would have been very different."
With the donation, Newfoundland and Labrador will become the first province in Atlantic Canada to have AEDs installed in every school.