WINNIPEG – Dave Pineau hopes some good will come from an “incredibly sad and awful experience” during his son’s fourth birthday lunch.

The family was at the Vermillion Road McDonald’s restaurant on Friday when 90-year-old Bryant Hodge collapsed at the counter.

Pineau’s wife, Diane, stepped forward and with another man, performed CPR for 10 minutes, when paramedics arrived and took over.

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She asked the staff if they had an AED – an automated external defibrillator, which uses an electrical shock to stop life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia and allow hearts to resume normal function – but the answer was no.

Pineau learned later Hodge didn’t survive.

The next day, Pineau decided to post the story on his Facebook page with a call for businesses to have AEDs in restaurants.

“Obviously my wife and I were relatively upset about what we saw and what our kids saw,” he said. “I thought (an AED) might have given him a better chance.”

The post has been shared more than 400 times and Pineau, who has learned that McDonald’s restaurants elsewhere have AEDs, is confident the company will respond – but it’s not just a McDonald’s issue, he pointed out.

Manitoba’s Defibrillator Public Access Act requires high-traffic public places such as gyms, arenas, community centres, golf courses, schools and airports to have AEDs on site as of Jan. 31. However, restaurants are not required to have them, and Pineau hopes that will start to change.

“This incident could literally have happened anywhere,” he said.

McDonald’s Canada is “deeply saddened” by the incident, a spokesman said in a statement emailed to Global News on Monday.

“The safety and security of our customers is a top priority, which is why we mandate every restaurant to have at least one shift manager on duty who is not only trained and certified in first aid but also undergoes regular re-certification as per their province of operation’s guidelines,” the statement from Western Canada communications manager John Gibson said.

“We applaud the quick work of our customers who provided CPR, as well as the emergency responders. Further inquiries regarding defibrillators are best addressed by Manitoba Health.”

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