Illinois church’s AED saved a member of the congregation

When someone snores during church services, it’s often a sign that the pastor needs to liven up the sermon. But at Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church, it was a critical warning signal that a member of the congregation was going into cardiac arrest.

Fortunately, the church in Lake Villa, Illinois, had a Powerheart automated external defibrillator (AED) on the premises. Members of the congregation, including a former EMT, used it to revive the man.

Colleen Kausak, who raises funds to put AEDs in Lake Villa schools and churches, including Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church, talked with the Daily Herald newspaper about the importance of have easily accessible community AEDs.

“The pastor of the church thought someone was snoring during the service only to find out the man was having a heart attack,” Kausak said. “Thankfully, the defibrillator was close by.”

Kausak, whose son Adam died of sudden cardiac arrest triggered by Long QT Syndrome in 2002, works with other Lake Villa parents to get life-saving automated external defibrillators into schools, churches, and other gathering places throughout the community. They raise money for defibrillators with the annual ADAMS (Automatic Defibrillators Allow More Survival) Night event.

Evelyn Pucel, on the staff of the Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church, helps maintain their AED and recalls the cardiac arrest incident:

“A church member responded with our Powerheart AED and gave the victim the life-saving shock that was needed,” Pucel said. “The  Emergency Medical Service stated that the gentleman would have died had there not been an AED readily available at the church.”

Senior Paster Kerry Bauman wrote about the incident in the church newsletter, describing the events of June 22, 2008, as “nothing short of miraculous. He recalled the Kausak family’s donation of the AED:

“This machine had been donated to our church by a family who had lost a son because his heart stopped beating and he did not receive treatment in time to save his life. The parents’ prayer at the time they presented the unit to us was that the Lord would use it to prevent a similar tragedy,” he wrote. “I have to admit that I am still amazed at the way in which everything unfolded and the rescue that resulted from the efforts of a handful in our congregation.”