One on One: Robbie Levine Foundation's Craig Levine Stresses Value of AEDs
As dusk fell on a relay drill during Little League practice in the fall of 2005, Craig Levine watched his 9-year-old round first base as fast as he had ever seen him run. But before Robbie Levine could reach home plate, he collapsed to the ground in sudden cardiac arrest. Craig shook his son, begged him to wake up and screamed for someone to call 911 as he began CPR. The ambulance arrived too late. That night, Craig and his wife Jill launched Forever 9—The Robbie Levine Foundation (www.robbielevinefoundation.org), which through an annual 5K run (the fifth will take place April 25) and a separate annual Hearts Gala has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars toward public education and certification in the use of automated external defibrillators. Any entity that commits to a training program gets an AED, and inquiries have come from 48 states and as far away as South America. The ball field in Merrick, N.Y., on which Robbie Levine died lacked an AED. By the following spring, each of the city's 10 Little League diamonds had one. Since then, an AED acquired through the foundation saved the life of a 40-year-old club soccer player in nearby Bayport, and Craig Levine has personally saved lives on two separate occasions — most recently at a Feb. 6 bar mitzvah — by applying the technology. Paul Steinbach asked Levine, an oral surgeon, what it's like to be a life-saver.
Q: How did it feel the first time you revived someone with an AED?
Q: Are people getting the message?
Q: What do you say to sports and fitness administrators who still don't have an AED at their disposal?
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