Cardiac arrest survivor shares how an AED saved her life

JACKSON, Tenn. -Having an automated external defibrillator, or AED, nearby can mean the difference between life and death.

Jo Ellen Hamilton describes herself as a cardiac arrest survivor who has first hand experience of the life-saving effects of CPR and an AED.

“Three times. Three times and by the grace of God there was someone there with medical experience to revive me each time,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton says  she was born with a rare heart condition. She has had to undergo several procedures in which pacemakers were put to keep her alive.

“A normal heart will beat between 60 and 80 beats per minute, mine will go up to 275. It was just a matter of seconds before I would go into cardiac arrest so they got me there just in time but once I got there they had to restart it again.”

Now in 2019 she is on her fourth defibrillator.

“It should last ten years but mine usually lasts only five because of the rapid heart rate.”

She says she wants to thank the Friends of Heart for everything they do in the community.

“Friends of Heart has done that with our law enforcement. So I am really thankful for that. They have helped me by just being present in the public.”
Hamilton says every minute counts and she believes its important for people in the community to know how to use an AED.

“Educate the public into recognizing what the symbols of AED where they are and more importantly just let people take CPR lessons.”

She says she can now enjoy life with her husband, kids and grandchildren.

“I’m grateful that I have been given that chance.”


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