Parents of baseball prospect who died donate defibrillators to Texas schools

Ryan Powell was a promising baseball prospect at Southwest High in Fort Worth, Texas, when he collapsed and died. (WFAA-TV)

Ryan Powell was a promising baseball prospect at Southwest High in Fort Worth, Texas, when he collapsed and died. (WFAA-TV)

In an effort to prevent another tragedy like the one that took their son in 2009, Rick and Rose Powell donated four defibrillators to the Fort Worth school system on Tuesday, according to Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

One day after a workout for a college baseball scout, Southwest (Fort Worth, Texas) senior Ryan Powell collapsed and died inside his family’s home on Dec. 8, 2009. He was 18 years old. The cause of death was determined to be cardiac arrest resulting from a previously undetected blockage in the main artery of his heart.

Cook Children’s Medical Center Project Adam coordinator Laura Friend, who successfully lobbied for 2007 legislation requiring defibrillators at all Texas schools three years after her 12-year-old daughter’s death due to a heart condition, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the chance of survival from cardiac arrest increases from less than 10 percent to more than 80 percent with the use of a defibrillator within 3-5 minutes. Still, 83 students in Texas have died due to cardiac arrest since 2006.

Obviously, the more defibrillators on campus — and the more accessible they are — the better.

That’s where the Powells stepped in. They established the Ryan Powell Memorial Foundation to help address the issue, and on Tuesday they donated four defibrillators costing roughly $6,400 to Wedgwood, Rosemont, J.P. Elder and Monnig middle schools, according to the Star-Telegram.

And they’re not done yet. The Powells plan to continue donating defibrillators to local schools in need, particularly those with just one on hand, in addition to helping fund EKG screenings for youth athletes in the Fort Worth area, according to the paper.

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