Feb 16, 2014

Dylan Williams remembered with AED distribution in Union City

UNION CITY, IN – Dylan Williams was only eight years old when a fluke accident while playing the sport he loved cost him his life. His death last July not only affected nearly every resident of Union City, but the story made headlines across the country and touched the heart of a nation. While his family and the community continues to struggle with Dylan’s death they are doing all they can to honor his name and find hope in a tragedy.

Erick Williams, Dylan’s father, said, “When Dylan was lying in the hospital bed I made a promise to him that no one would ever forget him.” To achieve that goal the Williams family started the Forever an All-Star Foundation. The foundation is active in raising funds to support the Union City community. Erick is joined in this effort by his wife and Dylan’s mother, Georgiana, Dylan’s brother and sister, Derick and Brianna, and other family and friends. The foundation recently teamed up with Heart Reach Carmel, IN to supply two Automated External Defibrillators (AED) each to Mississinawa Valley High School (MVHS), Randolph Eastern Corp./Union City Community High School (UCCHS) and the Union City, IN Police Department.

Heart Reach Carmel’s mission is to put AEDs in any location where a congregation will gather. Pierre Twer, president of the foundation, said it could be ball fields, churches, schools; he only wants the opportunity for lives to be saved. The organization began in 2010 and has given AEDs to organizations from Indianapolis to Union City. This year they were able to purchase and distribute 20 AEDs, six of which went to Union City.

Funds are raised through the Bolt for the Heart 5K. In 2010 they had 40 runners and a year later 60 persons entered the race. In 2012 the race was moved to Thanksgiving morning and 950 runners attended.

The Williams and their supporters supported the 2013 race and Twer noted 1,200 runners attended. Over 250 persons signed up to race on the Forever an All-Star Foundation Team. Georgiana pointed out not all of those persons were from Union City. Runners from all over the country who heard about Dylan signed up to run on his behalf. She called the support, “Unbelievable.”

For Erick and Georgiana putting AEDs everywhere is the right thing to do. Erick said he never wanted to see another family go through what they have had to endure.

MVHS and Randolph Eastern Corp./Union City Community High School will place the AEDs near their ball diamonds. According to Aaron Black, athletic director for UCCHS, the units will be located near the softball and football fields. All of his coaches are CPR and AED certified. Bruce Davidson, Dylan’s uncle and athletic director at MVHS, said the coaches will have one of the units at the softball and baseball fields this spring and at the football field in the fall. The other unit will be located outside the school’s office. Although it is not a requirement, Davidson hopes to eventually have all of his coaches CPR and AED certified.

How important is it to have AEDs where persons are gathered? Troy Pflugner, senior AED specialist for Cardiac Science, noted the success rate for a person who has been defibrillated within the first three minutes of a cardiac arrest is as high as 90%.

Donations for the Dylan Williams Forever an All-Star Foundation and Heart Reach Carmel, IN are always welcome. To donate to the Forever an All-Star Foundation visit or send donation to Citizens State Bank, 200 W. Oak St., Union City, IN 47390 or call (765) 964-4808. Donations for Heart Reach Carmel, IN can be made to 3173 Smokey Ridge Lane, Carmel, IN 46033 or call (317) 575-9054 for more information.

Erick and Georgiana Williams thanked everyone for their support prior to distributing AEDs to the local schools and police department. (Ryan Berry photo)


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