Carter Hansen has a lot to be thankful for … including the
Mikey defibrillator that recently saved the 2-year-old’s life.
The defibrillator, provided through the Mikey’s Kids
program, was on standby at the Hansen family’s Nobleton home after the
youngster was diagnosed with a benign heart tumour. In early December, Carter
went into arrhythmia and his parents, Craig and Jennifer, used the Mikey to
save their son.
In May, 2012, Carter went cardiac arrest due to the
previously undiagnosed tumor. “The paramedics got a rhythm back after 27
minutes, but the resulting significant brain injury kept us at SickKids and
Holland Bloorview Children’s Rehab Hospital for 6 months,” Craig said, “and
we’re still fighting to regain as much of our son’s co-ordination, vision and
speech as we can.
“We went home a month ago with an AED from the Mikey
Network, knowing that any further arrest would be incredibly critical.
Neurologists told us that by the time EMS
arrived, it would be too late. Our only chance was the defibrillator.”
Carter went into arrhythmia again on Dec. 4 and his parents immediately
started CPR. “Because of the training supplied by the Mikey Network, we had his
shirt off and the pads on him well ahead of the voice prompts from the AED,
which analyzed and advised a shock, which we delivered. The change in our son
was immediate,” Craig recalls. “He started breathing on his own again. We
observed him and kept the AED on him until EMS
The Mikey Network, founded in 2003, works to create public
awareness and provide education about heart-healthy lifestyles. To date, 15
lives have been saved, over 1,300 Mikey defibrillators have been placed across Canada
and 11,000 people have been trained in CPR/AED.
The Mikey Network was named for Mike Salem, a valued partner
at Heathwood Homes and The Heron Group, who experienced sudden cardiac arrest
and died on a golf course in 2002.
His good friend, Hugh Heron, president of Heatwood Homes,
founded the Mikey Network in Salem’s
“When a child has a
serious cardiac problem, the family lives in constant fear, knowing the heart
can skip a beat at any moment,” said Heron. “The Mikey’s Kids program provides
families with portable Mikeys so these children can lead more normal lives.”
“You guys gave us another chance with our son. Thank you,
thank you, thank you,” Craig said.