Our local community consists of five steep ridgelines above the town of Grecia, Costa Rica. As a developing country, Costa Rica lacks some vital emergency equipment, in particular, defibrillators. In the event of a heart attack these small machines can help save lives. Our community lost an amazing friend and husband when Mark suffered his massive heart attack. Since then, we have also lost a wonderful woman to a massive heart attack.
Mark Sandler was well known in both the expat and Tico (local Costa Rican) communities. More than ten years ago, Mark and his wife Laurie Bass followed their dream and moved to Costa Rica. Mark’s appreciation for the natural beauty of the country is captured in his photographic images of flowers, volcano, sunsets and spiders. It also shows in his stunning ironwork of whimsical sculptures and fences. This appreciation was only superseded by Mark's love of Ticos who helped him embrace the less-is-more philosophy of the Pura Vida (Pure Life) spirit. This all came to an end on March 1 when Mark had his heart attack.
It took 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive from downtown Grecia to Mark’s home on one of the ridges. The local ambulances are not equipped with AEDs – they function primarily as emergency transport. Attendants rushed him to the hospital, but it was a full 45 minutes after the start of his cardiac event that Mark began receiving treatment.
Unfortunately, it was too late. Please consider a contribution, in Mark's memory, so that five AEDs, oxygen tanks, and stretchers may be purchased for the five mountain communities on the flanks of the Poas Volcano. These life-saving machines will allow community members to provide quicker assistance during a time when minutes matter.
Mark’s wife Laurie shared, "Mark came to life artistically in Costa Rica." For those lucky enough to spend time in Mark's beloved Cajon de Grecia, his hand-crafted metal fence and gate full of flowers, birds and butterflies are a reminder of a life lost too soon.
Please share this appeal to ensure others get to live out their Pura Vida dreams. Thank you for your support.