WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — A Worthington family is raising awareness and money to support the American Heart Association.
It’s a cause that hits close to home.
Almost three months ago, Canen Dickman collapsed during a summer soccer practice. His coaches quickly jumped in, performing CPR and running to get an AED.
“I could tell in his eyes that he wasn’t there and that was a hard moment as a mom,” Canen’s mother Pamela Dickman said.
The quick actions of the coaches helped save Canen’s life.
“I don’t really remember anything from that day, but what I’ve been told is it was just normal summer practice, we were running around the track during our normal two mile and on our second mile, about halfway through, I just collapsed,” Canen Dickman said.
Dickman was getting ready to start his freshman year at Worthington Kilbourne High School. He’s been playing soccer since he was little.
“I love everything about soccer. I love the environment,” he said.
Now, he’s working to get back to the field and, along with his family, helping people learn how to save a life because they said it can happen to anyone.
“That first 10 days in the hospital, they did many, many, many tests, trying to figure out what happened and, unfortunately, we still don’t have any solid answers,” Pamela Dickman said. “So at this point, we’re thinking we never will.”
“23,000 individuals under the age of 18 experience cardiac arrest per year,” State Government Relations for the American Heart Association in Ohio Dustin Holfinger said.
That’s why the American Heart Association is trying to get AEDs in every school across the state. They are hoping a bill that has passed the House will soon be heard in a Senate committee.
After Canen’s experience, a second machine is now out by the school’s sports fields.
“If you look at a football stadium, there are more people in the stands than there are in the field,” Holfinger said. “So obviously, the chances of anything happening are probably more likely to occur in the stands than along the sidelines.”
Worthington Kilbourne is also helping support the cause. Tuesday night there was a Kick for a Cure event that raised more than $2,000.
“We’re hoping to somehow route it into not only research, which is wonderful, but also community outreach, you know, kind of bringing it back to the smaller communities and making classes and outreach a little more accessible,” Pamela Dickman said.
Canen has been cleared for light activity and is undergoing surgery to get a defibrillator soon. He says he’s ready to get back to playing soccer as soon as he can.
“Basically, getting that word out there, spreading the word, how important it is to learn CPR, how important it is to, if you see something like this happen, know where the AED machine is. Grab it and use it,” Pamela Dickman said.