In the wake of a fellow Knight’s death following an on-campus medical emergency, the UCF community has rallied to raise awareness of AEDs and first-aid training in his memory.
Michael Namey, an 18-year-old freshman engineering major, died Tuesday morning at Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford. He had collapsed Monday afternoon in his precalculus class, was administered CPR and two AED shocks, and was taken to the Oviedo ER before being transferred to CFRH.
After the incident occurred, freshman biomedical sciences major Gabi Davis started a petition on change.org, called “In Honor of Michael Namey Let's Get More AEDs Placed Around UCF!” In the span of four days, the petition has gained enough traction to garner more than 880 signatures, as of Saturday afternoon.
“I am serious about the importance of having AEDs readily accessible … The fact that I had to witness UCF's negligence to have AEDs in plain sight angers me,” Davis wrote on the petition page. “I want there to be a change. There are 61,000+ students here at UCF and we all deserve to feel safe. SGA has tons of money to give out, so why not have them put some aside to adding more AEDs on campus … “
Davis, a trained emergency medical responder who was in the class that Namey collapsed in, said that she started the petition because she was angry at the fact that she had to run around the school to find one.
“I felt like it took too long to get to it and the fact that it was on the second floor of the building was just odd to me,” Davis said. “Also the fact that the Starbucks basically attached to the building didn't have one [was odd]. And that's a food establishment.”
Davis said she has spoken with UCF spokesman Chad Binette and Dean of Students Anthony L. Jenkins about the importance of having more AEDs on campus. Binette said that ideas are currently being considered regarding better first-aid policies on campus.
“Even before the petition started, we had already begun examining our AED availability and policies to see what we can do better,” Binette said. “We also want to encourage more students to take first-aid and CPR classes.”
Such first-aid classes, which are taught by the American Red Cross, are normally offered at the Recreation and Wellness Center for $19. UCF waived the fee for three upcoming CPR classes at the Recreation and Wellness Center on Wednesday, Oct. 8 and Oct. 13, but those classes have since filled up.
Danielle Hendrix is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @ByDaniHendrix or email her at DanielleH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.