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Idaho Heart Foundation holds ball to raise money for portable defibrillators


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IDAHO FALLS — Several hundred guests packed the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Events Center Saturday to celebrate heart health and raise money for the purchase of AEDs for emergency responders.

AEDs, or automated external defibrillators, are portable devices that allow a person administering CPR to place a pad on a victim’s bare chest. The device analyzes the rhythm of the heart and delivers an electric shock as necessary to stimulate the heart until help arrives.

During Saturday’s event, the Heart Ball 2022, Dr. Blake Wachter gave a demonstration of how the life-saving technology works. The Idaho Falls cardiologist, and president of the Idaho Heart Foundation, emphasized their importance in saving lives, and getting them into the hands of local and regional emergency responders.

“We’re here to provide AEDs for the public first responder community,” Wachter said during a presentation at the event. “We have already provided many AEDS and mannequins for local first responders to practice on, and we want to expand to the Blackfoot and Pocatello areas.”

Wachter talked about efforts by the foundation to hold youth awareness events aimed at teaching young people about CPR and AED use, and about the importance of cardiovascular disease awareness. She also spoke about how the foundation funds support groups for patients and their families who are dealing with cardiovascular ailments, such as heart failure or heart attack.

The 2022 Heart Ball | Nate Sunderland,

Jake Gilbert, vice president of the Idaho Heart Foundation, spoke with about the importance of those support groups.

“It’s super important we have support groups for patients and caregivers, because it’s tough,” Gilbert said. “The healthy lifestyle change these patients have to go through isn’t easy, and helping to educate them — that’s one of the reasons the foundation exists.”

During the ball, there was a cake auction and silent auction to allow attendees to bid on donated items. The proceeds from those auctions went to fund the efforts of the Idaho Heart Foundation.

Gilbert says the foundation also accepts money through Venmo @IdahoHeartFoundation. People can also donate using the QR Code below.

Heart Venmo