Grieving family raises money for community lifesaving device

Ionia County

SARANAC, Mich. (WOOD) — A Saranac family is working through their grief by trying to save other lives after their son died last year.

Skylar Lasby collapsed during football practice and died from a heart condition in August, but his parents are working to keep his memory alive.

“We’ve chose to live for Skylar,” said Rhonda Lasby, Skylar’s mom.

In honor of their 12-year-old boy, the Lasby family and community members raised enough money to buy a LUCAS Chest Compression System for the Saranac Community Fire Department. Authorities say it’s a first for Ionia County. Fire Chief Tim Simmons said one couple even donated $20,000 to the cause.

“It makes us feel appreciated,” Simmons said. “It’s a great tool for the fire department to keep helping save lives.”

Simmons said the machine provides constant CPR and will operate at a steady pace.

“This is going to take the place of anywhere from two to six firefighters because once you set it up, it just keeps going,” Simmons said.

Rhonda Lasby said the chest compression system wouldn’t have saved his life, but he’d be thrilled to know it could help others.

“He’d be proud, very proud,” Rhonda Lasby said.

As each day passes without Skylar in uniform, his parents find comfort in his smile, knowing he’s the guardian angel guiding their every move.

“If we can, you know, help somebody catch a potential problem before something drastic happens, that’s what it’s for,” Scott Lasby, Skylar’s dad, said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The department’s new chest compression system will be available to use by the end of next week. In the meantime, the Labsy’s are now raising money to help others, ages 12 to 40, get tested for any unknown heart conditions. Anyone who wishes to help may donate money at the Saranac Community Fire Department.

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