Community paramedics demonstrate how to use an automatic external defibrillator at Carlin Elementary School. (Alice Hucul)

Donation of life-saving devices honours memory of Salmon Arm student

Grandparent provides automatic external defibrillators hoping they never need to be used

Those who knew Jeremy best describe the young man as a gentle giant with a big, joyful, contagious laugh.

This year, Jeremy Stoelting would have been attending his final year of high school in Salmon Arm.

On Feb. 10, 2018, a day remembered by his grandmother as crisp with clear blue skies, Jeremy passed away in his sleep. It was later determined Jeremy suffered from several heart problems, for which he displayed no previous symptoms.

Searching for a way to honour Jeremy’s memory, his grandmother Rosemary Foster heard about a young man who’s life was saved by an automatic external defibrillator (AED) after he collapsed in his school’s gymnasium.

Read more: In Photos: Fun day out at Carlin Country Market

Read more: Fun fundraiser back at Carlin

Foster reached out to School District 83 and set the wheels in motion to donate two AEDs to the district.

Initially, Foster intended to donate the devices to Shuswap Middle School and Salmon Arm Secondary’s Jackson campus – both schools Jeremy had attended.

Upon learning that Jackson already has an AED, Foster chose to donate the second device to Carlin Elementary Middle School in Tappen.

“Carlin, to us, was so far away,” Foster said. “If they had an emergency there, that would be the place that should have an AED.

“That’s how we felt about that and I know that Jeremy would have thought that too.”

Foster said that this donation was not only a way to potentially save a life in the future but also a way to assist her healing process following Jeremy’s death.

“If it can help save somebody else that would be absolutely amazing and wonderful for us,” Foster said.

“I hope they’re there for quite a few years and they’re never going to have to be used; that would be ideal.”

Read more: School restructuring decided

Read more: ‘The stress would put my stomach into knots’ says former B.C. high school hoops star

The AED donated to Carlin was installed and tested on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Staff were also trained on how to use the device by community paramedics Kathy Crandlemire and Susan Murray.

The AEDs are available not only to students and staff but also to trained first aid attendants or first responders if there is an emergency cardiac arrest near the school grounds.

Rosemary hopes her story will inspire others to donate money to get more AEDs in public places. “There are still a lot of schools that do not have an AED and they are very costly,” she said. “If everybody put a little bit of money in to purchase another one or two, that would be great because they are so worthwhile.”

Jeremy was a very active 15-year-old. After moving to Salmon Arm from Calgary in 2015, he got involved with the community straight away.

He attended his church’s youth group and adored his bicycle, which he rode all around town. Jeremy had a passion for mechanics, he planned to attend a trade school in the Lower Mainland following his high school graduation. He also loved to watch Marvel movies and visit with seniors at Piccadilly Terrace.

Read more: Shuswap Middle School teacher issued five-day suspension

Read more: Shuswap Middle School relay team wins at Battle of the Border

Dan Steenson, the leader of the youth group Jeremy attended, said he didn’t hear about Jeremy’s visits with seniors until after he died.

“It’s so interesting to me that Jeremy did those things without needing recognition or needing praise from other people,” Steenson said.

With the unexpected nature of Jeremy’s death, it was a heartbreaking moment not only for Steenson but for the youth group and the ministry as well.

Still, Steenson can remember how Jeremy’s laugh lit up any room and how he had the ability to listen and care for others when they needed it.

“What I remember about Jeremy is how fully he lived his life. That was a really beautiful thing that I think people lose out on,” Steenson said. “We miss just how beautiful it is when someone lives their life with joy and Jeremy did that.”

Read more: Okanagan teachers honoured for saving student’s life

Read more: Teachers to train students to save lives

Along with enjoying classic teenage activities, Jeremy loved school. An important figure in his life was Ken Jamieson, Jeremy’s Grade 8 teacher at Shuswap Middle School.

The pair connected instantly and, even after Jeremy moved on to high school at Jackson, he would drop by to talk with Jamieson about his life.

“He was always among the most helpful and one of the most considerate kids in the class. He was one of those kids that were really easy to like,” Jamieson said. “It’s a really generous gesture on the part of Jeremy’s family to do this, it really helps with the memory of Jeremy.”

Anyone wishing to follow the lead of Rosemary Foster and donate an AED to SD 83 should contact Bev Snow at 250-832-9415.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Rosemary Foster holds a photo of her grandson, Jeremy Stoetling, who died suddenly of heart problems in February 2018. (Cameron Thomson - Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Kelowna receives accolades for accessibility and inclusivity

“Receiving this provincial recognition reaffirms that everyone is welcome in Kelowna,” said Mayor

Kelowna council opposes ‘racist’ Quebec secularism bill

The city joins Calgary, Montreal, Victoria, Kitchener and Brampton in condemning the bill

Gotham Nightclub pumps up the jams for the first time this weekend

Gotham Nightclub is taking place of Level Nightclub eight months after it closed its doors

New trial ordered for Salmon Arm optician convicted of sexually assaulting 14-year-old boy

Kenneth Pilkington was ininitally found guilty of the offense

Sockeye Salmon return to Okanagan Lake for the first time in decades

The Okanagan Nation Alliance and Fisheries and Oceans Canada restored a fish ladder damaged over 50 years ago

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Troll Grandfather bridges gap in Okanagan

Spotlight Kids’ Series show comes to Vernon Sunday

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Hergott: Driving and talking to a passenger

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about distracted driving with passengers

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Summerland man celebrates 100th birthday

Bill Kenzle credits positive attitude as secret to a long life

Most Read