Close to the Heart

Medical providers around our area are turning to technology to help treat heart attack victims the moment they feel their heart shutting down. One local community is becoming better equipped to save those lives.

Four more of these small, defibrillators are now ready for use in the Valdosta community, thanks to volunteers and the Community Foundation at South Georgia Medical Center.

Experts say by using these machines, a heart can be jolted back to life.

"The quicker the person receives the defibrillation after the onset of heart problems, the more likely we are to get them out of that lethal heart rhythm, so speed is of the essence," says Charles Wilson, a defibrillation expert.

With more than 100 folks enjoying their retirement here, Langdale Place was one of the four sites chosen to receive one of these portable defibrillators, and administrators here say having this type of technology at their fingertips helps provide an added layer of medical security.

"While we are close to SGMC and all of our staff have been trained in CPR, this will just be an added boost and I think a reassurance to our residents to know that we have this equipment," says Jan Brice, Executive Director, Langdale Place Retirement Center.

Tracy Quarles from the Valdosta Senior Center, says, "Not only do we dance here, but we do different types of aerobics here and we have the fitness room inside, and I think having this here at the Senior Center will be a big help because of the activities we're getting involved in."

The life-saving machines have also been donated to the airport fire department and the conference center, helping protect a wide variety of people. South Georgia Medical Center's non-profit foundation donated the machines and they hope to keep the program going.