Turning a tragedy into saving lives

Community raises thousands for AED distribution in honor of Faith Larsen
The $7,000 this group raised pays for the 10 AEDs going to schools and centers around the area.
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 6:35 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - “A tragedy turned into something positive” -- That’s the mission of a North Mankato couple after the sudden death of their daughter.

In October of 2022, 19-year-old Faith Ann Larsen was playing basketball when she fell and suffered a cardiac arrest.

When such emergencies occur, an automated external defibrillator (AED) is often used to assist in life-saving measures.

“They didn’t have an AED handy and were waiting for the rescue team to come,” explained Terry Larsen, Faith’s dad. “They did get her heart started, but it was a long time before her heart got to start and due to lack of oxygen, she never recovered,”

After this, in Faith’s honor, family and friends decided to turn it into something positive.

“We’re here today for communities to get some AED’s out there,” said Terry Larsen. “And then we want to help with CPR training and maybe with some parts and replacement parts and things of that nature. [We’re] just trying to do some good for the community here.”

SMSC, Shakopee Mdewakaton Sioux community donated 10 AEDs. The value to the AEDS provided by the SMSC is about $25,000 these 4-3-3 will go into the schools and help the communities.

Four AEDs will go to Maple River, three to the East Chain Activity Center, and three to the Nicollet Public Schools.

Area businesses were also on board.

Faiths friends and ADM raised a total of $7,000 from a go fund me that was created

“It was something so heartfelt and positive for her family, and I feel like to have something to look back on versus the tragedy that we all know,” said Riley Hiller, General Manager of All-Star Nutrition. “And so, it was just something positive there.”

Scott Smith of ADM Mankato was also excited to play a part in the cause.

“[On] behalf of ADM, I’m incredibly pleased that we’re going to be able to match the funds that were raised by this group of friends,” said Smith. “[They will be] to be used [for], you know, AEDs and education,” said Scott Smith.

Larsen took a moment to express his gratitude to his community and the outpouring of support.

“I’m just so happy they’re all here,” said a tearful Larsen. “It’s a lot. It just did not have to be like this, but it is. But we’re doing good, so I couldn’t ask for more.”