CINCINNATI — A Kentucky family is turning their pain into purpose by providing life-saving training to athletic clubs and departments at local schools.
Matt and Kim Mangine lost their son Matthew to sudden cardiac arrest during the summer of 2020. Matthew had collapsed on a soccer field during practice.
“It’s hard,” Matt Mangine said.
“Everything we do on a daily basis, nothing is the same,” Kim Mangine said.
Both parents say their son’s death could have been prevented, so they started a foundation to help young athletes in schools and athletic clubs by encouraging clubs and schools to have AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators).
“A big thing we want to try to bring is awareness,” Matt said. “An AED wasn’t used immediately [on Matthew] and that's the one thing we're trying to change.”
After learning about Mangine's death, family friend Erin Kelley purchased an AED to take to her children's practices and games at Cincy SC.
“People always say this can happen to anybody and then it did,” Kelley said. “It got to the point where one would be practicing on another field and I felt like I was having to choose between my children."
So Kelley and the parents of the club held a fundraiser to purchase five AEDs to have on hand.
“I finally kind of said to the coaches, 'Have you thought about this?' And they listened,” Kelley said.
Kelley now works with the Mangines to bring training to other clubs, hoping more families get involved.
“If you can get an AED on a sudden cardiac arrest within the first three minutes, you have an 89% chance of walking out of that hospital that night,” Matt Mangine said.
Through their foundation, the Mangines help schools and clubs research the best option for their program and train them on how to use the equipment.
“It's not just AEDs,” Kim Mangine said. “It's any life-saving equipment — cold tubs, wet bulb thermometers.”
The family's hope is that every team will consider having the equipment close by.
“My hope is that it saves a child's life," said Matt Mangine.
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