Los Gatos Family Holds Fundraiser To Purchase Lifesaving CPR Devices for Local Fire Departments

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The Counting Blessings Group, an affiliate of the Los Gatos Community Foundation and founded by the Weich family, will hold a fundraiser June 5th from 4-7p.m. to raise funds to purchase Autopulse™ Resuscitation System devices for the Los Gatos and Saratoga fire departments. On March 20, 2004, fifty-seven year old Caralee Weich suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and lay without a pulse for almost thirty minutes. Doctors, firemen, paramedics and medical professionals all credit the Autopulse, a new CPR machine, with saving her life that afternoon and agree that her 100 percent recovery is a true miracle.

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The Counting Blessings Group, an affiliate of the Los Gatos Community Foundation and founded by the Weich family, will hold a fundraiser June 5th from 4-7p.m. to raise funds to purchase Autopulse™ Resuscitation System devices for the Los Gatos and Saratoga fire departments. On March 20, 2004, fifty-seven year old Caralee Weich had enjoyed an afternoon performance of MAMMA MIA! in San Francisco when she suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and lay without a pulse for almost thirty minutes. Doctors, firemen, paramedics and medical professionals all credit the Autopulse, a new CPR machine, with saving her life that afternoon and agree that her 100 percent recovery is a true miracle.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have been treated by the paramedics with one of the few AutoPulse machines in the Bay Area and I am tremendously blessed to have my life back again,” marveled Caralee Weich. “Our family’s campaign to bring our community together to raise awareness about cardiac arrest and give back to them somehow is so rewarding for us. This experience has certainly given me a newfound appreciation of how precious life is and I feel it’s now my responsibility to educate others about my story and this truly miraculous new medical device,” she continued.

Developed by Revivant Corporation, recently acquired by ZOLL Medical Corporation (http://www.zoll.com), the Autopulse is a comprehensive resuscitation platform that has the power to transform the way CPR is performed by medical professionals. The small, portable device pumps the patient's chest to circulate blood to the heart, brain and other vital organs during cardiac arrest treatment and allows medics to focus on complementary interventions such as drugs, ventilation and defibrillation, greatly enhancing the resuscitation process for rescuers in and out of the hospital.

“I believe the Autopulse provided enough circulation to the brain and heart to maintain biologic functions during the thirty minutes Caralee was being resuscitated,” said Dr. Arthur Chin, cardiologist at St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco. “Caralee has completely recovered neurologically and I’m very grateful for the Autopulse for playing such a major role in that.”

Cardiac arrest statistics:

  • Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of over 450,000 people every year. That's one life lost every two minutes.
  • In a city the size of Los Gatos, more than 25 people die every year from cardiac arrest.
  • Survival rate is less than 5% and has not improved in 30 years.
  • Twice the number of women die each year from cardiac arrest and heart related diseases than from all types of cancers combined.

The garden reception at La Estancia, owned by David Stonesifer and Larry Arzie, will feature live and silent auctions and musical performances by local artists, Kaweh, Gillian Harwin and Francois & Rodrigo. Special guest speakers include Caralee Weich, Sebastian Wong, the paramedic captain from the San Francisco Fire Department who came to Caralee’s immediate aid, and Steve Staump, deputy chief at the Santa Clara Fire Department.

Tickets to the event are $100 (tax deductible) and can be purchased through Shannon Weich at 408-219-9636, http://www.countingblessings.com or at the door the day of the event. For additional information please refer to the web site.

Autopulse is a registered trademark of Zoll Medical Corporation. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and certain other countries.

Press contact:

Shannon Weich

Counting Blessings Group

408.219.9636

sweich9@yahoo.com

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Brooke Decker