AED sister

It’s not every day you get to meet an AED sister, but today Dick Schmidt met Briana Martinez in Lihue, Kauai—both of them revived by AEDs after cardiac arrests in 2019.

Dick Schmidt and Briana Martinez, both cardiac arrest survivors who were resuscitated by AEDs in 2019, met March 22 in Lihue, Kauai. (Photo by Jan Haag)

Briana was a 39-year-old special education teacher on Kauai when, during a meeting at lunch, she froze in her chair, not breathing, not moving. A staff member called 911, a vice principal started chest compressions and a counselor grabbed the AED (automated external defibrillators). Before emergency personnel arrived, Briana was shocked twice and then life-flighted to Oahu where she made a full recovery.

Briana Martinez’s tattoo commemorates the day of her cardiac arrest and her resuscitation by an AED. (Photo by Dick Schmidt)

Briana is a mom of three children who is now deeply involved in sharing her story and training others in CPR and the use of AEDs. That’s what she and Jenna Tanigawa (of the AED Institute based in Honolulu) were doing on Kauai today—training members of the mayor’s staff.

Jenna Tanigawa packs up the CPR manikins used to train members of the Kauai mayor’s staff in CPR and the use of AEDs on March 22. (Photo by Dick Schmidt)

We were delighted to see Jenna and meet Briana, part of our AED ohana, to hug them and wipe away happy tears. We also invoked the name of Pamela Foster, the president and CEO who created the AED Institute that has placed AEDs in airports all over Hawaii, as well as getting them to schools and in other public places.

Team AED on Kauai: Briana Martinez and Jenna Tanigawa, who trained members of the mayor’s staff in CPR and the use of AEDs March 22. (Photo by Dick Schmidt)

We cannot say mahalo nui loa enough to Pam and Jenna for their generous help after Dick’s cardiac arrest at the Daniel K. Inoyue International Airport in Honolulu in January 2019. And, once again, our mahalo to the on-the-scene quick actions of Claudio Alvarado and Salesi Maumau moments after Dick collapsed, and to Chris Ohta of Hawaiian Airlines, who fetched the AED that brought Dick back to life.

Our deepest aloha to you all.

A happy meeting of AED ohana: (from left) me, Dick, Briana Martinez and Jenna Tanigawa. (Photo by Jenna Tanigawa)

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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4 Responses to AED sister

  1. Connie Raub says:

    Yet another GREAT story of life and hope and joy! The saga goes on with more people added to the circle of friends. Thank you for sharing this meeting and the pictures of Briana, you and wonderful Jenna. Please send my love to Jenna and Pam. How wonderful that Briana is giving back by being involved with AED training. Love to you and Richard ~Connie

    • janishaag says:

      Mahalo, Connie (and Cora, too!) for your long-standing parts in Dick’s ohana and for coming to care for him post-surgery in (who knew?) oddly cold Pearl City! PLUS! Jenna trained us three, too, in CPR and AED use. You are integral parts of Dick’s snappy heart, as well as mine!

  2. Donna Just says:

    Marvelous!!

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