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July 9, 2008
Torontonian survives cardiac arrest thanks to Variety Village defibrillator
  
Daniel Terbenche, a 63-year-old Torontonian who suffered sudden cardiac arrest at Variety Village last winter, met the staff members who saved his life with a Mikey Public Access Defibrillator today.

On January 31, 2008, Mr. Terbenche went for a power walk on the fitness track at Variety Village. He sat down to rest on a bench, and his heart stopped beating.

Variety Village was well-prepared to save Mr. Terbenche’s life. The facility has three Public Access Defibrillators on site, donated by The Mikey Network. Every staff member at Variety Village is trained in Public Access Defibrillator use.

After an employee noticed Mr. Terbenche was unconscious, four trained staff members rushed to help. An emergency “code red” was issued and Dave Henderson, Shane Risto, Joseph Rosgen and Jason Williams were first to respond. Working as a team, two responders started CPR while the others sent for the defibrillator and controlled the scene. When the defibrillator was set up, they delivered two shocks to Mr. Terbenche’s heart before Toronto EMS arrived.

“I am extremely proud of the quick response to this emergency by our staff. Their training and diligence helped save Mr. Terbenche’s life, but we also owe a debt of gratitude to The Mikey Network for providing Variety Village with defibrillators,” said Lynne Wallace, President and CEO of Variety - The Children's Charity.

When the paramedics arrived, Mr. Terbenche had a pulse - his heart had successfully been re-started. Paramedics began treatment and took him to Toronto East General hospital. After receiving an implanted pacemaker and defibrillator, Mr. Terbenche was back at work two months later.

This extraordinary save may not have happened if there hadn’t been a Mikey defibrillator nearby. “The Mikey Network works because our efforts are guided by ongoing inspiration from the legacy of kindness and caring left by Mike Salem, our Heathwood Homes and Heron Group partner and friend who died of sudden cardiac arrest on a golf course,” said Mikey Nextwork CEO Hugh Heron. “And, for living proof that The Mikey Network really works, Daniel Terbenche is here at Variety Village, with the four responders who helped save his life using a Mikey."

Today, Chairman Heron presented Mikey Medals to the four responders to recognize their role in helping to save Mr. Terbenche’s life.

Toronto EMS currently oversees more than 500 Public Access Defibrillators, and Chief Bruce Farr says he expects to meet more citizens saved by defibrillators as that number grows. “Fitness facilities are prime locations for defibrillators, as they are considered high-risk for cardiac events. I would encourage others to follow Variety Village’s lead,” said Chief Farr.

Variety - The Children’s Charity makes a significant impact in the spirit and lives of children with disabilities. Through its programs, the charity assists young people to recognize their own potential; experience what is possible; and develop the skills to achieve their goals. It is also dedicated to promoting inclusion and integration and strives to make all children more accepting of others. Variety Village, the charity’s flagship project located in the east-end of Toronto, is a world-renowned fitness and life skills facility. Variety Village expands upon the charity’s mandate by delivering programs and services to people of all ages and all abilities.

The Mikey Network is a non-profit organization working to create public awareness and provide education about heart healthy lifestyles. The Mikey Network is committed to placing MIKEYS (Public Access Defibrillators) in as many high-risk locations as possible so people affected by sudden cardiac arrest might have a second chance at life. Founded by Heathwood Homes and The Heron Group, a leading residential developer in the GTA for almost 30 years, The Mikey Network has raised over $1 million and has committed to placing Mikeys across Ontario in such places as schools, gyms, community centres, pools, libraries, municipal offices and hockey arenas.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Lynda Elmy, Variety - The Children's Charity, 416-367-2828 ext. 249, 647-272-7061 (cell), lelmy@varietyontario.ca
David Eisenstadt, The Communications Group Inc for The Mikey Network, 416-696-9900 ext. 36, deisenstadt@tcgpr.com
Lyla Miller, Toronto EMS Media Relations, 416-392-2255, 416-708-8125 (cell), lmiller3@toronto.ca


 

 

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