Teddy Dowdle collapsed and died of sudden cardiac arrest a year ago after going up for a rebound while playing basketball with his older brother and friends at Woodridge Park in Cottage Grove.

He was 22.

His family believes Teddy might still be alive had there been a medical device called an automated external defibrillator in the park. “CPR was administered, but there was no AED readily available,” his father, Craig Dowdle, said. “If there had been an AED applied within the first three minutes of his collapse, instead of when the EMTs showed up eight or nine minutes later, there would have been a much greater chance of his survival.”

On Thursday, the first anniversary of Teddy’s death, the Dowdles will install an AED in Woodridge Park — the first outdoor AED device in Cottage Grove.

Craig and Emily Dowdle, along with their son Carter and daughter Olivia, formed Teddy’s Heart Foundation, a nonprofit that educates and advocates for AEDs in public parks. By the end of the year, they hope to install five or six AEDs in parks in Cottage Grove and Woodbury.

Heart defect

Teddy was born with a congenital heart defect, bicuspid aortic valve. When he was 16, he had open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve. Doctors required that he take one year off from playing sports while he recovered.