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KC-area parents advocate for lifesaving emergency cardiac legislation

William Delfs sons Elias and Rocky
Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-21 11:50:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The American Heart Association and Project ADAM are working on both sides of the state line to ensure everyone knows how to work an AED.

Bystander CPR saved Ashley Dwight's 17-year-old son, Davis.

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"Davis was at a baseball lesson, and out of the blue, he suddenly collapsed, no warning," Dwight said. "Nobody knows why this happened, but everybody at the hospital has told us, told us while we were there, the only reason he survived is because of the bystander CPR."

Ashley Dwight's son collapsed during a baseball lesson and needed CPR.

William Delf's family experienced a different outcome, unfortunately.

One of his adopted twin sons, Rocky, was 15 when he collapsed running track. He died in the hospital.

Tests later revealed Rocky had undiagnosed Brugata Syndrome, a disruption to heart rhythm.

Rocky's twin, Alias, has it, too. The family now lives in fear the same could happen to Alias.

William Delfs son, Rocky, collapsed and died at the hospital.

"I want to put him in a plastic bubble, I want to protect him, but I can’t," Delf said. "You know, I want him to have a life, but I have to trust that when he’s there, they’re going to keep him safe."

Dwight and Delf are now advocating for lifesaving legislation in both Missouri and Kansas. Proposed bills would require all public schools to have an emergency plan in place, more AEDs available, and more training for teachers and students.

In Kansas, House Bill 2494 passed the vote and now heads to the Senate. In Missouri, House Bill 1991 and Senate Bills 1032 and 1081 are still under review.

Such legislation would put Delf and Alias at peace.

"I mean, it's a no-brainer," Delf said. "Why would you not pass this bill?"

The American Heart Association, and other entities, hosted an emergency cardiac response drill Wednesday.

"I got goosebumps watching it because, to me, I’m working on the law. It’s very prescriptive. It’s one thing to read about it, but it’s another to see it in action," said Kari Rinker, government relations director for Kansas City American Heart Association.

Kari Rinkler, Government Relations Director for Kansas for the AHA

Delf said Alias carries an AED with him to be prepared; although, he's hopeful he won't have to use it.

"You can't change bad things that happen, but we can also try to make something good come from something like this," he said.