TUPELO – Area students in grade six or above are encouraged to take advantage of free physicals offered by the Weston Reed Foundation from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 9, at the new Police Athletic League, 204 Douglas St.
Parking is available behind the Police Athletic League building or next door at the Link Centre, 1800 W. Main St.
No appointment is necessary. The Weston Reed Foundation will also provide a free electrocardiogram (EKG), and students will receive a free Weston Reed Foundation T-shirt. If warranted, an echocardiogram will also be performed free of charge.
In May the Weston Reed Foundation provided free EKGs to 1,331 student-athletes during North Mississippi Medical Center’s sports physicals for 15 area high schools. Thanks to the foundation, the 74 of them who needed further evaluation also received a free echocardiogram and four required follow-up with a heart specialist.
Eleven-year-old Weston Reed experienced sudden cardiac death on Aug. 16, 2007, while practicing soccer at Ballard Park. Although several physicians who were at the soccer field administered CPR within seconds, Reed could not be saved. Unfortunately, there was not immediate access to an AED, a device used to shock the heart back into rhythm. While an AED may not have saved his life, rapid access to these devices saves many lives yearly.
The first Weston Reed Cardiovascular Conference was held only three months after his death to raise public awareness of sudden cardiac death, to train area residents in CPR and the use of AEDs and to provide AEDs in public places throughout our community. Since its inception in 2007, the Weston Reed Foundation has placed more than 100 AEDs in Tupelo schools, Parks and Recreation sites, police and sheriff’s department patrol cars, churches and other public venues.
Donations to help provide training and AEDs are tax deductible and can be made to the Weston Reed Foundation and mailed to CREATE Foundation, P.O. Box 1053, Tupelo, MS 38802.