NEW CHARITY TO THROW COMMUNITY A VALUABLE LIFELINE
The launch of charitable organisation, LifeLine, this week heralds the creation of the Cayman Islands’ first national Automated External Defibrillator (AED) database linked to the 911 emergency system.
LifeLine’s lifesaving new database is currently under development and LifeLine is in talks with software providers in the USA to ensure the existing software integrates effectively with Cayman’s Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) 911 systems.
LifeLine’s primary charitable objective is to create and maintain a national database of AEDs in the Cayman Islands linked to the 911 team. Similar systems exist in the USA and Canada and have been successfully used to save lives. The charity will also fundraise and donate AEDs to locations across the Cayman Islands that most need them, and where there are currently gaps.
The charity has already been working hard to develop the national LifeLine database, and now has a central resource that identifies the location of more than 100 AEDs across the Cayman Islands. This database of information will allow Cayman’s 911 operators to identify the closest AED to the scene of a cardiac arrest and, hopefully, save more lives.
LifeLine was founded by Cayman resident, Christina Kish. In 2018 Christina’s son, daughter and husband were diagnosed with an electrical heart condition called Long QT Syndrome. Since then her family has embarked on a journey of medical education, including being trained and facilitating the training of over 200 others in the use of CPR and AEDs, and the realities of life with a known electrical heart condition.
Christina commented on the launch: “Currently only 1 in 10 people survive a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting worldwide. With every minute that passes after a sudden cardiac arrest, the chances of surviving drop by 10%. We are working towards improving these statistics in the Cayman Islands by bringing both CPR trained individuals and an AED to the scene of the cardiac incident as soon as possible.”
Other Directors of LifeLine include: Glenna Black, who lost her husband Julian in May 2017 to a heart-related condition; Melissa Shaw, a respiratory therapist and CPR, AED and first aid trainer; Emma Parker, a close friend of Christina Kish; and Julian Lewis, the Director of DPSC, which is responsible for 911. The charity’s Supervisor is retired Maples and Calder partner, Joannah Bodden Small.
Christina adds: “With Julian Lewis and the 911 team’s support and involvement, LifeLine is working on integrating the IT system through which the LifeLine database is made available to the 911 operators here in Cayman. This crucial part of the organisation cannot progress without the understanding and support of Julian and the 911 team and we are extremely grateful for their commitment to make this project a reality.”
LifeLine is being launched at a small event at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club this Thursday, where the charity will also be celebrating the successful resuscitation of a member of the Cayman community, Charlie Adams, who was revived by an AED donated by LifeLine earlier this year. Mr. Adams and his wife will be special guests at the event.