For Viola “Candy” Owens, the defibrillator mounted inside Daniel E. Rumph II Recreation Center is a bittersweet sight.
Rumph was Owens’ only son. He died after going into sudden cardiac arrest during a pick-up game of basketball at the Germantown facility in 2005.
To this day, Owens believes her son may have survived the attack had his heart been shocked by a defibrillator as rescue crews made their way to the center, but the building wasn’t equipped with the device.
This year, however, the device symbolizes the success of a nearly eight-year quest to place defibrillators in all 150 of the city’s recreation centers.
You’d never think a young athlete would have to worry about cardiac arrest.
So, most city-owned rec centers do not have what are called defibrillators, devices that can jump-start a failing heart. When the unimaginable does happen, c-p-r may not be enough
“An AED is a machine that delivers an electric shock…” Joseph Russell, a cpr instructor said, “I believe every recreation center should have a defibrillator on site. It’s there for the protection of everyone. It’s not just for the persons playing sports, but it’s also for the spectators also.”