Family of Lost Teen Calls for Further Use of CPR and AEDs

Morgan Wilson dies at age of 17 when her heart stops. If staff had adequate training in CPR and access to an AED, she might be alive today.

Several factors can lead to an individual’s heartbeat or breathing unexpectedly coming to a halt, from blood infections, to heart attacks, to simple accidents. Even when the cause of a cardiac arrest isn’t known, there is still a way to reduce the chances of the situation being fatal, if only someone nearby administers CPR immediately, and if available, uses an AED.

Eight days after she collapsed outside of the center where she was taking lessons for Tennis, Morgan Wilson passed away. She was just preparing to do some sprints after completing a round of laps at Boysen Park, when the teenager suddenly collapsed and suffered from a cardiac arrest. At this point, her family still doesn’t know why the event occurred, as Wilson was such a healthy young woman. At seventeen years of age, Morgan had established herself as both a track and field, and varsity tennis athlete. Although she would have been a senior at Esperanza this fall, as a junior, Wilson had already achieved so much, participating in events such as hurdles, the long jump and the 100 meters, as well as acting as captain for the girls’ tennis team.

Her family believe strongly that if the center she had been practicing at was equipped to help Morgan, by offering immediate CPR in the precious minutes before the paramedics arrived on scene, or using a defibrillator, she may have survived the attack. Although she was revived before being transferred to the UCI, Wilson had begun to suffer from serious brain damage at that point, and was put into a medically induced coma as a result of her critical condition. Heartbroken, the family are currently doing their best to prevent others from suffering the same regrets that they have, campaigning that more AEDs (automated external defibrillators) be available for use throughout athletic training. To encourage more people to learn the potentially life-saving skill, the family has even arranged a memorial fund that will help to pay for the cost of more people receiving training in CPR.

Unwilling to accept her limitations, Morgan Wilson constantly challenged herself, according to her family, and always pushed herself as far as she could go. Debbie Wilson, her mother, noted that her child had even found a way to get a little more out of life in her final acts, by signing the donor space on her driver’s license, although her family hadn’t known about it. According to the OneLegacy recovery agency, Morgan’s liver and kidneys saved three lives. Her mother went on to announce that Morgan was going to save some more lives as well through the CPR fund that will be reachable at Esperanza high school. She commented that parents should make sure that the people they are trusting to care for their children know the basics of CPR and how to administer it. The family encourages others to ask around at athletic facilities and schools to see if they have AEDs on site, as they could save their children’s lives.


Robin Johnson

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