The Prince George Gymnastics Club now has an AED defibrillator courtesy of Team Bond and the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s annual fundraising drive.

Just under 14-thousand dollars was raised by the team this year in the BC/Yukon region to help choose a recipient for the new device.

Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond touched on the value of the device today (Friday) after her husband Bill battled through his own heart issues.

“You know, it does make a difference when you see one of your family members and you want to make sure they get the best opportunity to enjoy a second chance at life if necessary.”

“This is really important to me. When a cardiac arrest occurs and if you are able to access an AED and CPR, your chances of survival go up astronomically and what’s so important is having AED’s publically accessible.”

Melanie Hanson is a Cardiac Athletes Ambassador in Prince George who is very pleased an AED is now at the gymnastics club.

“I’m ecstatic to have it here. It means security for me as my daughters works here and coaches here, it protects the community and the thousands of people who come through this building every year.”

Hanson experienced her own cardiac event at Masich Place Stadium several years ago that luckily didn’t require the use of an AED.

“My symptoms didn’t start until I was 36 so I went years and I was a competitive athlete in my teenage years and never had any issues until that day and that’s the thing is that we just don’t know when these things are going to happen.”

“What happened to me is that I self-resolved, which is not very common as most people will have a cardiac arrest and the AED would have needed to be used.”

Over the past decade, Bond and her team have raised nearly 60-thousand dollars for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.