Ron's Story

In 2008, Ron Vergnolle received the biggest shock of his life: His heart stopped. The second shock, from an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) like the one pictured above, brought him back.

Ron Vergnolle is a healthy 40-year-old father of three and has always been active. In fact, he jogged to the Greenville Health System Life Center Health and Conditioning Club on the day his heart stopped.

While drinking out of the water fountain, Ron collapsed. He had a sudden cardiac arrest, a condition that claims more than 300,000 lives annually. 
“If he had the cardiac arrest on the bike in Cleveland Park, things would have been much different," said Britt, Ron’s wife. "The fact that it happened 10 feet from an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) was truly a miracle.”
Almost immediately after Ron collapsed, Life Center staff took action. Jim Gillespie, the conditioning supervisor for the GHS Life Center, used the AED to deliver a shock to reactivate his heart.
Since that day, Ron underwent bypass surgery and had a defibrillator implanted in his chest. He remains active, exercising and cycling all over the Upstate. He even created a 274-mile charity ride to raise funds to purchase AEDs for Greenville. His goal is to make them widely available in highly trafficked public areas such as government buildings, parks, and sporting complexes.
Greenville Health System shares Ron’s commitment to accessible AEDs in the community. The Start a Heart, Save a Life program initiated by the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Greenville Class of 31 has placed more than 100 AEDs in Greenville County.    

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