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Derek miraculously survived; you helped us get through each day

To The Daily Sun,
On the morning of March 22, 2017, our 16-year-old son Derek, a sophomore at Belmont High School, collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest due to an undetected congenital heart condition. Derek miraculously survived due to the professional and rapid response of our public safety personnel and the competent medical care that he received; as well as due to the immense outpouring of love, prayers and support from those in the Belmont and surrounding communities.

We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the following: the 911 operator who promptly got us started doing CPR and gave us excellent instructions on how to do it properly; Belmont off-duty Paramedic Andy Frechette, who had just gotten off duty, was in our neighborhood and responded several minutes before the ambulance arrived; the Belmont Fire Department ambulance crew who promptly took charge of the scene, stabilized Derek and got him to Lakes Region General Hospital; the Emergency Department at Lakes Region General Hospital; the Dartmouth Hitchcock Advance Response Team who airlifted Derek to DHMC; the competent staff of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHAD); David's House at CHAD; Elders Beck and Fraughton of the Hanover Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Belmont High School staff and administrators; the Tilt'n Diner; Jordan's Ice Cream; Infocus Eyecare; Price Plumbing & Heating; Coach Jim Cilley and the Belmont High School boys basketball team; Franklin, Gilford, Interlakes and Prospect Mountain High School boys basketball teams, Gilford Hoops; NHSportsPage.com; Employees of the City of Concord; Danielle Embree; Devin Poslusny; and friends from near and far who prayed, sent cards, reached out to us through social media, provided meals and gift cards, etc. We are truly blessed to live in such a caring community. The outpouring of love, prayers and support are what got us through each difficult day.

Mark, Sue, Connor & Derek Stevens
#22 Strong

04 17 Derek Stevens

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We need to prioritize funding for global vaccine programs

To The Daily Sun,

One and a half million children die each year from diseases that could have been prevented by a vaccine. This is because, shockingly, one in five children in the world still lacks access to the basic childhood vaccines we take for granted here in the United States.

Great strides have been made over the last decade to give more families access to immunizations for their children. The measles vaccine alone has prevented an estimated 20.3 million deaths from 2000-2015, a 79 percent reduction! We cannot stop now and lose the significant gains we've made.

In addition to the moral and humanitarian impact, giving children around the world access to immunizations increases global and national security. In today's interconnected world, these deadly diseases don't stop at borders, as demonstrated by recent measles outbreaks and Ebola cases in the U.S. Immunizations are also a financially sound investment; for every $1 spent on childhood immunizations, you get $44 in economic benefits. That includes saving the money that families lose when a child is sick and a parent can't work.

The United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life campaign is asking U.S. legislators to help reduce vaccine-preventable childhood deaths around the world by providing adequate funding for global vaccine programs. Call your U.S. legislators' offices and ask them to strengthen and prioritize funding for global vaccine programs through partners such as the United Nations, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, CDC, and USAID.

We all have a stake in the outcome and parents around the world will sleep more soundly knowing their children are protected.

Linda Martino


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