P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2001
AUSTIN - Gary Terry, the Tarrant County man who was revived with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) after a heart attack at Austin Bergstrom Airport, was honored today on the floor of the Texas Senate today as the Legislature was poised to give final approval to a bill by Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, promoting the use of these lifesaving devices.
"This man is a walking miracle, and I just want to hug him every time I see him," said Senator Nelson who authored SB 532 directing the General Services Commission to develop a statewide plan to install AEDs at the Capitol and other state facilities. The bill is expected to be approved on the the House local & uncontested calendar today before being sent to Governor Perry. It will be renamed the Gary Terry Act at Senator Nelson's request.
Ironically, Terry was visiting Austin to advocate for this legislation as Chairman of the Board of the American Heart Association Texas Affiliate. He has also promoted the use of this device in the past and supported a bill by Senator Nelson last session that expanded the Good Samaritan law to give legal protection for those who use AEDs at the scene of an emergency.
"Gary Terry is living testament to the fact that the time and energy we devote to the issues we hold dear can truly make a difference in someone's life. In Gary's case, that life just happened to be his own," Senator Nelson said.
Each year more than 25,000 adults suffer cardiac arrest, and more than 95 percent of those adults die because defibrillation occurs too late to restart the heart. For every minute that passes before returning the heart to a normal rhythm, the chance of survival is decreased by 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association.