Kim is a Senior Diagnostic Imaging Technologist, H&S BLS Instructor, Founder/President of Project Brock Society and Researcher. Kim received her BSc in Radiography and completed her MA in Leadership (Health Specialization) through Royal Roads University in 2020. Her capstone was a research project titled ‘Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness and Management in Schools’. One of the next steps determined in that research was the need for a pilot project. A team of researchers have joined in a cross-Canada project, and Kim is the Alberta Lead with Dr. Ian Blanchard as Co-Investigator. They are working on a pilot study to assess the feasibility of training in bystander CPR and AED use in middle and high schools across Canada.
What led to Kim’s research interests? Her son. On May 22, 2012, Kim’s 16-yr-old son, Brock, collapsed in his school gym during a volleyball practice with his friends. He died of sudden cardiac arrest while the available AED sat unused by his side. Learning the details of his collapse, listening to his 911 call, and retracing the bystander and EMS responses inspired Kim’s determination to find ways to increase SCA survival rates and build support.
“Following my son’s death I was absolutely gobsmacked to learn that children could die of cardiac arrest”, Kim says. “As a healthcare provider and a mother, I felt a deep sense of guilt, failure, and isolation. Over time, I was inspired to do more through meeting other parents, SCA survivors, health care professionals, and researchers working to create change in this heart-safe space. In 2015, I was invited to join a CANet collaboration on a project titled ‘CANet Project to stop sudden death in the young’ which inspired my interest in further research efforts.
As a passionate advocate for increasing SCA survival, it is important to be a part of the CANet CHAT community to learn about the enormous scope of cardiac related research. It provides a window to others working in this field, which helps to break down the sense of isolation and futility when I am feeling disheartened or frustrated with how slowly change seems to happen. It is humbling to be linked to so many brilliant researchers and delightful humans that are working to improve survival and happy neurological outcomes.”
Kim began a non-profit organization called Project Brock Society, with the vision to promote awareness and education surrounding sudden cardiac arrest, basic life support and automated external defibrillator use.
Following Brock’s death Kim collaborated with the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch (IAED), and with the support of Alberta Health Services that continued to share Brock’s 911 call with new emergency medical dispatch (EMD) recruits. This has resulted in ongoing teaching using his call, and distribution of ‘Brock’s Law’ to over 29,000 dispatchers worldwide. This addition to Protocol 9, utilized by EMD’s, is included here (picture right).
Kim is grateful that this work in Brock’s memory has positively impacted the survival outcome of others. In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time with her kids, finding new friends, cooking, reading, writing, painting, pottery, renovating, farming, hiking, and traveling. To stay up-to-date with Kim and her work, follow her @RuetherKim on Twitter.