AED Advocate Rachel Moyer Keeps Working the Beat
Greg Moyer's grave is marked by a homemade cross. Rachel Moyer vowed not to purchase a headstone until every school in America had an automated external defibrillator, the emergency heart-rhythm equipment that might have saved her 15-year-old son from sudden cardiac arrest during a basketball game in December 2000 — if only his high school had owned one. At the time, Rachel, a teacher, had never heard of an AED, but has since donated more than 1,000 such devices to schools nationwide as a current member and past president of Parent Heart Watch (formerly the National Cardiac Parents Network). She makes roughly 50 educational presentations annually and has trained more than 15,000 individuals in CPR and AED use. As she travels the country, often at her own expense, she deals with legislators and lobbyists, not to mention the surviving family members of SCA victims. "I live and breathe AEDs every day," she says. With more than half of the United States having no AED-related legislation on the books, Paul Steinbach asked Moyer about the life journey still ahead.
Q: What has kept you going these past 11 years?
Q: Three adolescents died of SCA within a three-day span in October. What goes through your mind when you learn of a new SCA case?
Q: Has the national focus on sports concussions hamstrung your AED advocacy?
Q: How much does it bother you personally that Greg still is without a headstone?
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Ithaca College Athletics and Events Center