Man donates AEDs to school to save lives following near-death experience

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:20 PM CDT
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PIGGOTT, Ark. (KAIT) - After his father almost lost his life at a high school basketball game, a Piggott man is making sure that nobody has to go through the same fear he did.

When watching a basketball game, the eyes are on the hardwood but last winter, Ben Sisson got a call from the court that he would never forget.

“Their mother was in tears and wouldn’t say what was going on. She just said something is going on with your dad,” he recalled.

Ben’s father, Aaron, had a heart condition and flatlined during the basketball game.

An ambulance arrived quickly and was able to restart Aaron’s heart, but things got worse as Ben arrived at the school.

“He actually flatlined in front of us, and that is when it really hit home that something is really wrong and that was the scariest part for us,” he said.

Ben’s father was rushed to Jonesboro, where they were able to put in a pacemaker. As of Friday, March 17, Aaron is doing well.

However, that day, Ben learned something about preparedness.

That is why he reached out to businesses around Piggott and worked on raising money to purchase AEDs to make sure the school had them and that his kids would be protected.

“That was really the main focus to make sure the kids were covered since they knew what had happened, they don’t have to worry about this happening in school,” Ben said.

Ben was honored at a school board meeting on Tuesday, March 14, where he presented the district with four new AEDs and extra funds to help with the upkeep.

From now on, Ben can sleep well knowing that kids throughout Piggott are protected.