All large businesses need to have an AED machine

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My 20-year-old niece, Marisa, had a heart attack at work and died. This tragedy left me feeling helpless knowing there was nothing I could have done to save her. The paramedics did not make it there in time, but I often wonder if her life could have been saved if there had been an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site.

Marisa was working full-time at Lowe’s when the incident occurred. She worked at one of the company’s large retail stores, with hundreds of employees and customers passing through its doors every day, and you would think they’d have an AED. But there is no law requiring them. This life-saving machine is affordable, easy to use, and should be mandatory in all large businesses.

Marisa was extremely hard-working. She was putting herself through nursing school and working full-time. She was also juggling the responsibility of having a 10 month-old son, and taking care of her younger sister at the time. It is possible that she would still be with us today if there was an AED present.

In honor of Marisa’s memory, I am asking California lawmakers to pass “Marisa’s Law” which requires large businesses to have at least one AED at each location. Companies like Target, Costco, and Outback Steakhouse have already voluntarily provided defibrillators at their locations, but legislation needs to be passed.

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