Teachers death sparks interest in AED - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Teachers death sparks interest for AED

Kristin Maekawa Claudi Kristin Maekawa Claudi
Sharon Maekawa Sharon Maekawa
Pamela Foster Pamela Foster

By Oscar Valenzuela - bio | email 

MOANALUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kristin Maekawa Claudi was a healthy 28 year old preschool teacher. Fiery and strong according to her mother Sharon Maekawa. So much so she says her daughter picked up right after college and moved to Italy. When she returned home to Hawaii she began working at Moanalua elementary to follow her passion of teaching.

Maekawa's new co-workers had admired her sense of dutifulness.

"She had a lot of integrity, she was was just really wonderful to work with. I really miss her." her former assistant Lylene Sakamoto said.

In May of 2009 Kristin collapsed in the middle of a school meeting. By the time paramedics arrived there was nothing they could do for her. Kristin had passed away. Ten weeks later the autopsy revealed it was a probable cardiac arrest.

Just 4 months after Kristin died, her mother Sharon is working to prevent another sudden death. "If our tragedy can save other lives then maybe that was her purpose." And that purpose is now Sharon's personal goal in. She is now working to get automatic external defibrilators installed in as many schools as possible. She and the AED Institute have placed 3 of the life-saving devices in various Hawaii schools including here at Moanalua elementary -- where Kristin taught.

Pamela Foster, the Institute's founder, is trying to spread the word; according to a new law, you won't be liable for using an AED or having one in your facility. She says AED'S are now in place in locations such as airports, Ward center and now McDonalds.

For now, Sharon can feel a bit of comfort in knowing that having lost her daughter last year is helping to make made a difference here and now.

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