American Legion Post 47 asking for help getting AED

The American Legion on Reed Road is looking for an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, after one of their members almost died last spring.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 9:08 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 10:56 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- The American Legion on Reed Road is looking for an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED after one of their members almost died last spring. 

Joe Kohl is lucky to be alive after going into cardiac arrest during a card game. 

"We were playing cards one day over here in the corner and for some reason, what really upset me was I had a heck of a hand and I dropped dead," Kohl said. 

Kohl said he owes his life to Jim Catanzaro, a son of a legion member, who jumped into action and performed CPR. 

"I wasn't even certified at the time, but watching enough TV shows I kind of figured out how to do it. And when we were on the phone with the 911 folks, they said, 'Get the defibrillator.' And I asked for one and they don't have one at the legion," Catanzaro said. 

Doctors told Kohl the CPR saved his life, but the survival rate with this kind of incident is only about four to seven percent. That's why Catanzaro is looking for an AED for the legion. 

"This is now December and Joe's doing really well. But I've been on the hunt for a defibrillator," he said. 

Some people have said they could help, but nothing has come of it. And buying the machines outright can be expensive. 

"I think I've had quotes of $1,600 to $1,700, but that's just for the kit. That's not for the training. And training runs about 70 to 90 dollars a person," he said. 

So far, they have about $1,000 saved up, but they're around $1,600 short. 

As for Kohl, he's alive and well at 87 years old, and hopes if anyone else needs help, it's there. 

If you can help the legion get an AED, you can drop donations off to the post on Reed Road, or contact FOX 55's Abby Jackson at ajackson@wfft.com. 

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