AED Save Stories: The 22 Shock Survival

SAVE STORY - Butch Gibbs has a goal to help as many people as possible understand the importance and severity of AEDs, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) & AED Awareness. Save Stories do an impeccable job at this and we are so thankful to anybody who is willing to share their story.

Last month in our newsletter we asked readers to submit their own AED Save Stories so that we could help share these and our first one is from Mr. Butch Gibbs. He and his wife Susie have been personally affected by SCA and have taken a very respectable stance in making sure that others understand more about SCA, AEDs, and the Chain of Survival.  

From Mr. Butch Gibbs himself:


My Chain of Survival

On April 2, 2004, I was getting ready for our annual community play which was to be held that night and the next night.  The first night went well.  The play ended a little after 9:00pm and as the play ended, I started having chest pain.  Not long after arriving home, I went into sudden cardiac arrest and the CHAIN OF SURVIVAL began—

Link #1**EARLY ACCESS** My wife, Susie, had already called the ambulance when the chest pain continued and even before I collapsed.

Link #2**EARLY CPR** Susie immediately started CPR while my daughter, Amy, called to tell EMS this was no longer a “chest pain” call—it was now a “CPR-in-progress” call.

Link #3**EARLY DEBFIBRILLATION** The Humeston First Responders (of which Susie & I are Co-Presidents) arrived in just three minutes and had the first shock off less than a minute later.  The shocks would bring my pulse back for a short time, but then it would stop again.

Link #4**EARLY ADVANCED CARE** The Lucas County Ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later.  The Paramedic began the cardiac drugs. Soon—after CPR, 22 AED shocks, and the cardiac drugs—my heartbeat was back to stay!

Link #2 would not have been successful without Link #1.  Link #3 would not have been successful without Link #2.  Link #4 would not have been successful without Link #3.  That is the way the Chain of Survival is supposed to work!!

After the 20-mile trip by ambulance to the local Emergency Room where they kept me going and then a helicopter ride, I was at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines.  After eight days there, I walked out of the hospital with my own little defibrillator implanted in my chest—and it saved my life in January of 2012.

Now, along with teaching numerous CPR/AED classes to local groups, we have lobbied lawmakers in Washington, D.C. and Des Moines for funds to provide AEDs for rural areas where the arrival of an ambulance can be lengthy and for places where large groups of people gather.  We helped raise money and obtain grants to purchase AEDs for all the school buildings and law enforcement cars in Wayne County and for other area locations, helped get a law passed requiring all students in Iowa schools to take a CPR class before they can graduate, and provided all the instruction to students and staff at our county’s schools.  We become American Heart Association volunteers in activities relating to CPR and AED awareness and were honored to be named the AHA Central Iowa Volunteers of the Year in 2014.

Susie and I believe there is a reason I survived—and that reason is to help spread awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and to show the importance of knowing how to do CPR and how to use an AED so that others may have the same chance at survival that I did.


Thank you again to Butch and Susie Gibbs for this truly inspirational story! If you or a loved one has been affected by SCA and you would like to share your AED Save Stories, please contact or call Jerilyn at 855-233-0266. We would love to share your story and send you a t-shirt!

If you would like to learn more about AEDs, please call 855-233-0266 or email

Also, to view AED options and accessories, click here.

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