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CARMEL, Ind. — She had just finished a 12-minute segment on the treadmill and was getting on the rower as she talked with some friends, that’s the last thing Jeanne Johnson remembers before she went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Johnson’s heart flatlined while she was at her Orangetheory Fitness class, a work out she had done several times before. 

Fortunately for Johnson, she says there was an AED on the wall right next to her, “and there were three nurses in the class that jumped into action and got the AED out, did CPR.” 

An AED or Automated External Defibrillator is a portable device used to help people, like Jeanne, who go into sudden cardiac arrest.

This is why Pierre Twer who’s in charge of Bolt for the Heart, a 5K race on Thanksgiving, believes AED’s should be put in every police car and other emergency vehicles in Indiana. 

“Back in 2009, I’ve been a runner my whole life, and I ran the Boston Marathon,” said Twer, “and during that run, a father that was running the race had a sudden cardiac arrest.”

Twer says going into sudden cardiac arrest is like having to hold your breath, and a few minutes is a matter of life or death. 

He said the man was saved by medics who had an AED. 

After that Twer established Bolt for the Heart in 2010. They’ve raised nearly $900,000 and donated over 600 AEDs in the central Indiana area.

“All our proceeds from the races go to putting defibrillators in police vehicles.”

Twer said last year they completed their goal of placing a defibrillator in all 465 state police cars. He says the defibrillators are about $2,000, but they get a discounted price for buying in bulk. 

This year, he says the goal has changed.

“We shifted our focus now to the Indiana Sheriff’s Association. There are 92 counties in the state, 92 sheriffs and probably about 3,000 cars that don’t have AEDs.”

This year’s 5K will be on Thanksgiving in Carmel. It’ll start at the Palladium Center Green at 9 a.m.

For more information about Bolt for the Heart click here.

(Photo: Bolt for the Heart Facebook)