ABLE MADE and Ucal McKenzie Breakaway Foundation Unite to Launch AED Distribution Initiative for Boston’s Public Fields


During the ESPY awards this year, Nate Breske, the head athletic trainer for the Buffalo Bills, made a powerful plea for increased funding and support for AED and CPR training, especially in underserved communities. He also highlighted the need for athletic trainers in youth sports, urging individuals to learn CPR and how to use an AED, as they can make all the difference in saving lives. “Doing something is better than doing nothing,” he emphasized passionately.

Exciting Collaboration Aims to Equip Boston’s Public Fields with AEDs

In a remarkable collaboration effort that culminates years of planning and teamwork, ABLE MADE and the Ucal McKenzie Breakaway Foundation (UMBF) have partnered with Boston Parks and Recreation and In A Heartbeat Foundation to launch an ambitious initiative – the distribution of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) across public fields in Boston.

This groundbreaking initiative aims to equip Boston’s public fields with AEDs, ensuring a rapid response to sudden cardiac arrest incidents. The official launch of this program will take place at Moakley Park Field on Wednesday, July 26th at 6 pm, marking the first field to be equipped with an AED under this endeavor. The community is warmly invited to attend a public ceremony to mark this significant milestone. Admission to the ceremony is free, but organizers kindly request an RSVP.

A Cause Close to the Heart – Suzanne McKenzie’s Inspiring Vision

For Suzanne McKenzie, Founder & CEO of Able Made and Board Chair of Ucal McKenzie Breakaway Foundation, AED accessibility in communities holds a deeply personal significance.

This remarkable project is inspired by the memory of the late Ucal McKenzie—a passionate soccer enthusiast, beloved son, husband, brother, friend, coach, and mentor to countless youth. Ucal’s untimely passing due to sudden cardiac arrest while playing a soccer game at Moakley Field has served as a powerful catalyst for this crucial initiative. Reflecting on her late husband’s sudden cardiac arrest emergency, Suzanne says “He did not have access to an AED, and his outcome could have been different if he had. I want to help ensure there are more positive outcomes for others in the future.”

The Life-Saving Potential of AEDs

AEDs are sophisticated yet user-friendly medical devices capable of analyzing the heart’s rhythm and delivering an electrical shock, known as defibrillation, when necessary, to restore an effective heartbeat.According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, immediate CPR combined with prompt AED usage can increase survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest to as high as 90%. It is vital to recognize that with every passing minute without the intervention of an AED, the likelihood of survival decreases by 10%.

Having personally experienced how AEDs can save lives, Mike Papale, Founder of In A Heartbeat Foundation, shares his thoughts on the collaboration, saying, “In A Heartbeat is proud to partner with Able Made and the Ucal McKenzie Breakaway Foundation on this incredibly important project to place AEDs in Boston Fields. When sudden cardiac arrest strikes, it is crucial for an AED to be deployed quickly to ensure the highest chances of survival. The more AEDs we have accessible in the community, the more lives we will save.”

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