The story behind the device that saved the Sonoma teenager – Sonoma Sun


Posted on July 2, 2022 by Sonoma Valley Sun

By Leslie Nicholson —

When Kristy and Bob Brindley moved to Sonoma four years ago, they saw new opportunities to help save lives in the Sonoma Valley through their foundation. They are the founders of Just1Mike, a non-profit organization that honors the memory of their son, Mike.

Mike was the youngest of the couple’s three sons. He was 16 when he died of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in 2016 while playing basketball. The family lived near Chicago at the time, and in 2017 they founded the nonprofit.

In mid-June, Nate Jordan, Toby Ford-Monroe and Mason Matulaitis used an AED to save the life of a friend on the basketball court at Sonoma High School. Their story.

“Mike’s dream was to be a sportscaster and writer. Just1Mike was the name of his blog. We wanted to honor him by naming our foundation after something he started when he was 13,” says Kristy Brindley.

The foundation’s first initiative was to fund and support heart screenings for teenagers at Mike’s High School. Screenings pick up 70% of hidden heart disease that puts people at risk for ACS, she says. “We screened 1,900 students and at the end of that day, 13 students were referred for heart issues that they would not otherwise have experienced.”

One resource Brindley encourages parents to use for information about sudden cardiac arrest is Parent Heart Watch. The website lists ACS statistics including that one in 300 college students has an undetected heart condition, up to 72% of ACS victims had at least one unrecognized warning sign and 49% of cases of ACS have a strong family history of heart disease.

“People don’t realize how common SCA is among our student-athletes,” says Brindley. “SCA is the number one cause of death among student athletes ages 12 to 25 and the number one cause of death on school campuses in America.”

A move from Chicago to Palo Alto created the opportunity for the Brindleys to connect with the founders of the Kyle J. Taylor Foundation in San Jose, a nonprofit founded after the cardiac death of Taylor’s teenage son.

Through their foundation, the Brindleys were able to help sponsor seven EKG screenings that the Taylor Foundation hosted in San Jose and other South Bay locations. Recently, Just1Mike donated money to the Taylor Foundation to purchase a portable Philips Lumify echo wand to provide additional testing during heart screenings if someone needs it. Brindley hopes to offer a heart screening event in Sonoma in the near future.

As new residents of Sonoma, Kristy and Bob Brindley were walking near high school and talking about donating automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the school when the new sports complex and swimming pool were under construction. Their first AED donation was an outdoor cabinet for the youth football and pep program in the town near Chicago where they raised their three children.

“We knew the high school sports complex would need an AED. At an event for the Sonoma Valley Educational Foundation, we talked about our organization and by the end of the evening we had raised enough money for our first AED device donation in the Sonoma Valley,” Brindley says. . “We have since raised funds for three more in high school. One will be installed at the new swimming pool as well as at Golton Hall and the Pfeiffer Gymnasium. Having an AED outside and near the basketball courts was something that was close to our hearts.

The first AED was installed next to the outdoor basketball courts in February this year. A few months later, this AED was used to save the life of a 2022 Sonoma High graduate (see page 2).

Four more AEDs have been received by the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club and will be installed on school sites for their after-school programs. Four more will be delivered soon.

“Our donation program covers the maintenance costs of the AEDs. They will be managed and monitored to ensure they are ready for use when needed,” Brindley explains. “These AEDs are state of the art and when the case is opened by someone they are programmed to alert local emergency medical services that there is an emergency. The machines are easy to use and include a audio recording that gives clear instructions on how to use the AED.The towers also include lights that make the machines highly visible.Anyone who needs an AED can access the machines 24/7.

Brindley wants to make sure people know that there is no responsibility for someone administering CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or an AED to shock someone’s heart into restarting it.

“There are Good Samaritan laws in every state and the federal government that protect anyone who administers lifesaving procedures,” Brindley says. “By doing nothing, that person will die. You are their only hope.

AEDs are now installed in all schools in the district and in some stores, wineries and public places such as Vintage House and Sonoma Community Center. To make this information easily accessible, the Sonoma Valley Fire Department has uploaded it to the Pulsepoint app. If your business has an AED that you would like to register and add to the Pulsepoint app, please contact the Sonoma Valley Fire Department at 707-996-2102.

There will be a public dedication of the new DEA on the basketball court in late August. Brindley says more details will be announced soon.

More information about Just1Mike and their work to prevent SCA, and to sponsor screening events and DEA donations, can be found on the foundation’s website, If you are interested in a CPR course that covers CPR and AEDs, please contact the Sonoma Valley Fire Department at 707-996-2102 to find out how you can register for a course.

AED locations in Sonoma Valley, partial list:

Adele Harrison College

Altimira College

Fitness at any time

Atwood Ranch

Benziger family wines

best western

BR Cohen Vineyard

Bronco Wine Co

La Bouverie Wildflower Reserve

Caliente Springs Physiotherapy

CCL Industries, Inc.


Conestoga Rovers & Associates

Cosentino Vineyard

Creekside High School

Dunbar Primary School

El Verano Elementary School

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn

flower primary school

Freixenet Caves Sonoma

Hacienda Cellars

Hamel family wines

Harlan Wine Estate

Idell Family Vineyards

Kimberly Quan Hubenette Dental Practice

Lockton Insurance

Pacific Union Co.

Parkpoint Health Club

Prestwood Primary School

Family Vineyard Awards

Ravenswood Vineyard

Sassarini Primary School

Schug Carneros Winery

Sonoma City Hall

City of Sonoma Public Works

Sonoma Charter School

Sonoma Community Center

Sonoma Ecology Center

Sonoma Garden Park

Sonoma Market

Sonoma Valley High School

Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau

Sonoma Police Department

Wine Talisman

Treasury Wine Estates

period house

Woodland Star Charter School


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