Minnesota Timberwolves forward Ryan Gomes lost his teammate Stanley Myers to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Gomes created Hoops for Heart Health to prevent young athletes from a similar fate.
Gomes donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) to gyms in 12 cities on the Timberwolves’ 2007 – 2008 season schedule, and is not stopping there. In this video from ESPN News, he explains,
“I wanted to be able to touch someone and I’m able to use basketball as a tool. I’m out there doing what I love to do, playing, and now I can voice my opinion and voice what I believe in. And maybe some people will catch on to that just because of where I am.”
Wayne Simone, Gomes’ AAU coach says, “I talked to Stanley Myers’ mother soon after her son passed and she said, ‘I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to talk to. I don’t know what happened to my son. I don’t know where to turn for information. What can I do?’ That inspired us to look into this thing.”
Soon after starting Hoops for Heart Health, they found Rachel Moyer and Parent Heart Watch, the national voice protecting youth from SCA and preventable sudden cardiac death (SCD). Moyer, who lost her teenage son to SCA at a basketball game during halftime, spoke to ESPN.
“The ER nurse said there should have been a defibrillator at that school. And thought it was like the defibrillators that are on ER, you know, these huge things. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a portable AED and that night we said, ‘Instead of flowers, we would like people to send money in so we can put defibrillators in the schools in our area so this doesn’t happen to someone else.’”
You can read the accompanying ESPN Magazine news article here.
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