After the death of her daughter, one mother finally gets defibrillators on high school campuses

Recent cardiac death puts AEDs on campus

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Last night the Kern High School District signaled its plans to place automated external defibrillators, or AEDs on every high school campus.

It's been three months since a 15-year-old Centennial High School sophomore collapsed at school and later died of cardiac arrest. The death of 15-year-old Caleb is just one of the incidents that have been the leading factor in this decision.    

Today ABC23 News spoke with one mother who lost her daughter almost 10 years ago to cardiac arrest and since has not stopped fighting to get defibrillators on school grounds.

Corinne Ruiz lost her daughter Oliva to cardiac arrest in 2004 and says although Olivia is gone, it is her daughter that keeps her going and fighting for her goal.

" I can do it, I have done it, but its because of the inspiration I have from my daughter."

Last night Ruiz watched and hoped as the KHSD board of trustees heard presentations from staff, doctors and more than a dozen emergency personnel. All of them spoke of the desperate need for access to defibrillators in the event of a cardiac arrest on campus, which Ruiz feels could have saved 15-year-old Caleb's life.

"It may have been prevented had there had been an AED in the gymnasium."

The Kern High School District board of trustees said they would like to see the proposal placed on the March school board agenda, but would even be willing to take up a special session beforehand to get the ball rolling.


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