Tragedy leads to mission to furnish AEDs at athletic complexes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A year ago Wednesday, a father from Kansas City North collapsed and died while helping his son's baseball team.  Now his family is committed to seeing that others live by having the necessary equipment on hand.

Without warning, Tim Henning went into sudden cardiac arrest.

"It took the emergency people forever to get to us, and we could hear them, but they couldn't find us," his wife, Denise Henning, told FOX 4 News.

Bystanders valiantly did CPR.  But there was no AED -- automatic external defibrillator -- available at Platte Purchase Park.  An AED can restore a normal heart rhythm in most cases if used promptly.

Tim died at age 47 leaving Denise and their two sons.

"We don't want any other family to live through what we've lived through over the last year," Denise said.

The Henning family set a goal to raise $150,000 for 100 defibrillators to be placed in cabinets with alarms at youth athletic complexes in the metro area.

The Henning Family Foundation will also see that a company, AED Authority, provides training and maintains the devices.

"You have this device and you set it somewhere and don't maintain it, it's not going to do any good," said Meredith Lockard of AED Authority.

The family also wants to see that a sign is posted at every field with not only the address, but also the field number, so paramedics can find it quickly.

The $150,000 goal is in sight as family and friends prepare for the first Tim Henning Memorial Golf Tournament this Friday.

"We are very close to meeting our goal.  It's amazing.  Astonishing.  I think Tim would be touched by all the support," Denise said.

She said their sons are learning that good can come out of tragedy.  They're learning that their father's death will help others live.

If you would like to support the family's efforts, go to http://henningfamilyfoundation.org/

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