As well as trying to get more AEDs around the country, to places that otherwise are too far away from an AED or emergency response, we also aim to help those most in need when it comes to choosing winners for the Become a Heart Saver campaign. People like the Revive a Smile charity.
Revive a Smile is the only dental charity in New Zealand that provides free services to at-need Kiwis including the homeless, victims of abuse, the elderly, low income adults and refugees.
“Our charity is unique in that we also provide oral health education in addition to treatment and we are helping Kiwis gain control over their own health,” explains founder Dr Assil Russell. “ReviveA Smile has provided thousands of Kiwis with dental care and oral health packs, including toothbrushes, toothpastes and mouthwash. We love taking care of Kiwis and pride ourselves in providing the best standard of dentistry.”
As part of their mission to help Kiwis from all over the country with their dental care, their mobile unit travels around different towns in NZ. Dr Russell entered the Become a Heart Saver competition because she had serious fears for how their staff would react in an emergency situation when treating clients in isolated places.
“There have been so many times where we were treating medically compromised patients in remote locations of Aotearoa and I would be praying that my patient wouldn’t collapse as I did not have an AED on the mobile clinic to treat them with,” says Dr Russell. “Although all our staff are trained in first aid and CPR, AEDs save lives – especially when the nearest hospital is in another city or town.”
When we called Dr Russell and her Revive a Smile team with the good news, emotions ran high.
“It’s hard to describe how blessed we feel and how happy we all are to have received this generous gift. Everyone at the charity has been buzzing all week. I can’t describe how incredibly grateful we are to you for this amazing donation,” she said. “We hope that we never have to use our AED but just having one brings peace of mind to all our volunteers. It also means that the communities we go to will also know where they can find one.”
The Revive a Smile AED will be placed inside the mobile dental clinic on an easily accessible shelf.
If you think your community group or charity would be a worthy recipient of the Become a Heart Saver campaign to win an AED, enter now!