Son’s death has man on mission to save lives

Driscoll works to make AEDs, heart screenings widely available

By Ray Legendre, Columbian staff writer

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Scott Driscoll wants to make sure no other child in Clark County suffers his son Quinn’s fate.

But preventing another child from dying from sudden cardiac arrest, as Quinn Driscoll did nearly three years ago, takes more than putting AEDs in every school, Driscoll said.

It takes increased education about the devices and free heart screenings, too.

Quinn Driscoll died June 10, 2009 after suffering cardiac arrest while running outdoors on the track during physical education class at Wy’east Middle School. The 13-year-old had an undiagnosed heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. An on-campus AED was not readily available.

The two-year-old nonprofit Quinn Driscoll Foundation has raised thousands of dollars to purchase AEDs for the Vancouver and Evergreen school districts and has provided screenings for hundreds of athletes. The elder Driscoll’s goal is to aid Vancouver and Evergreen schools in paying for AEDs and screenings the districts might otherwise be unable to afford.

“I would argue, from losing my son, that life is priceless,” Driscoll said.

The foundation raised around $12,000 in its first year and has pledged another $20,000 for AED purchases and screenings, Driscoll said.

In February, the Quinn Driscoll Foundation sponsored free heart screenings for nearly 600 student-athletes at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

The work continues.

The second annual Quinn Driscoll Foundation Legends fundraising event will be held Saturday, April 28, at Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth St. The event, which begins at 5:30 p.m., costs $50 and features a dinner and auction.

Raising money to prevent heart-related deaths in students is vitally important, Driscoll said. An AED saved the life of an Evergreen High student, Keilea Swearingen, on Sept. 1.

“It’s not a question of if but when” another cardiac arrest incident happens at a Clark County school, Driscoll said.

You can learn more about the Quinn Driscoll Foundation at http://www.quinndriscollfoundation.org.