AED donations honor young ballplayer Dylan Williams

At the 3rd annual Dylan Williams Memorial Baseball invitational in Union City, Ind., three teams and their communities won big.

12U Versailles, 10U Dylan’s Dawgs, and 8U Versailles, the winning teams in the three participating age brackets, each received a Cardiac Science Powerheart® G3 Plus automatic external defibrillator (AED) from the Dylan Williams Forever an All-Star Foundation. These teams will choose locations in their communities, such as sports fields, to place the AED devices. Cardiac Science is one of the sponsors of the annual event.

Erick and Georgiana Williams of Union City created the baseball invitational and the foundation in memory of their son, who died in 2013 from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while playing baseball. Dylan was only 8 years old. When he collapsed on the field, coaches and parents started CPR and called 911. But by the time emergency responders arrived with an AED, it was too late.

Having an AED at the playing field would have helped Dylan’s chances of survival. For that reason, his parents were determined to take action to help protect other young ballplayers in their community. They created the foundation to promote awareness of the importance of CPR training and the placement of AEDs at youth sport fields. To date, the foundation has donated nearly 60 AEDs to Little League ballparks, school sports fields, and police departments in Indiana.

Another winner at the invitational event was Danny Rhoad, from Carmel, Ind. His family drove two hours to Union City to meet the Williams family. Danny, 13, was saved by an AED that had been placed at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. While playing in a ballgame in May of this year, Danny suffered SCA after being hit in the chest by a thrown ball. Coaches ran to one of the park’s concessions stands to grab an AED and used the defibrillator to restore Danny’s heartbeat.

Thirty-two Indiana teams played in this year’s tournament. For one of them, the victory was particularly significant. Dylan’s Dawgs, winners in the 10U bracket, includes members of Dylan William’s original all-star team from Union City. They have been working for three years to achieve a tournament win in his memory.

Danny Rhoad

Danny Rhoad, cardiac arrest survivor (wearing Cincinnati Reds shirt and blue cap)