Couple raises money for CPR machine for fire department - | WBTV Charlotte

Couple raises money for CPR machine for fire department

(Christian Flores | WBTV) (Christian Flores | WBTV)
(Christian Flores | WBTV) (Christian Flores | WBTV)

Aron and Mary Shell remember every little detail from June 22nd - that's the day Aron suffered a heart attack.

"I quit breathing, and I was gone," said Aron Shell.

Shell had just sat on the couch to watch TV, when he went into cardiac arrest.

Mary Shell was in the other room. She said she feared for the worst.

"He was literally dead," Shell said. "We never dreamed they would be able to revive him."

A North Catawba Fire and Rescue crew showed up to their home, and administered CPR. However, they did not do this the traditional way.

They used an automatic CPR machine. It has a plunger-like piece that you place on the chest, and it pumps downward, performing CPR.

A week after being taken to the hospital, Aron Shell was able to walk out the doors.

"I know for a fact it had its duty in me being here today," Shell said, when talking about the machine.

At the time, the North Catawba Fire and Rescue squad did not have a machine of their own. That day, the machine was on loan to them from the county.

"And God just allowed it to be on their truck that day, and if they had not had that device on their truck, he would not be here today," Mary Shell said.

After learning they didn't have one of their own, Mary Shell spearheaded fundraising efforts.

From June, it took only until Christmas to raise the money - more than $13,000.

"I just had a desire, because this is our fire department," Shell said.

On Monday, first responders with North Catawba Fire and Rescue received the machine, and trained with it.

"For us to put one more cog in that wheel of our lifesaving ability, it's just one more tool," said Dino Dibernardi, with Caldwell County Emergency Services.

The Shells hope they don't ever have to have the machine used on either one of them. They say this fundraising effort was to pay their fire department back, as well as pay it forward to anyone who may end up in the same situation they were in just months ago.

"I hope they can be able to help somebody else because you never know when it's going to be you," Shell said.

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