Gene Johnson, New Brighton, MN – 63 at the time of the incident (September 11, 2002)
On the first anniversary of the most tragic event our nation has ever experienced, Gene Johnson of New Brighton, Minnesota, nearly suffered his own personal tragedy—he almost lost his life.
March 26, 2008–PITTSBURGH–The SCA Foundation has established an annual award program to honor "ordinary" people with extraordinary heroic spirits who help save the lives of victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The People Saving People awards will recognize members of the public whose lifesaving actions have made the difference between life and death for SCA victims.
The purpose of the program is to increase awareness about the critical need for laypersons to be prepared to intervene in sudden cardiac emergencies.
First place: One (1) automated external defibrillator (AED), which may be donated to the organization of the winner’s choice;
Second place: Free admission to the Emergency Cardiac Care Update, sponsored by the Citizen CPR Foundation, June 13-15, 2008, Las Vegas;
Lisa Byers with her son Braxton
There was an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the premises but meeting participants did not feel comfortable using it. They called 9-1-1 and paramedics arrived seven minutes later. After four shocks, she was resuscitated. They brought her to nearby Scott White Memorial Hospital.
March 25, 2008–SCA Foundation–If legislative activity in the New York State Assembly related to the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) is any indication, there is growing awareness here that victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) deserve ready access to this lifesaving treatment. At least 15 laws and one administrative code addressing AED training and use have been enacted by the NY state legislature. In addition, 27 bills are pending.
Legislative efforts to save SCA victims began in New York 10 years ago, with an amendment in 1998 to NYS Public Health Law Article 30/3000-B. This legislation authorized Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs and encouraged greater acquisition, deployment and use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in communities statewide.
Since then, AED programs have been mandated in the following locations:
Paul Hamel, 68, was simply trying to support the American Heart Association’s 2001 “Heart Walk” fundraiser in Texas. He had no idea what was about to unfold.
Since he had taken a stress test and had been cleared by his physician two weeks before, he figured it would be okay to run—rather than walk—to the finish line. And so he did.
Young SCA Survivors
From left, Brett Taylor of Texas, Paula Opheim of Indiana, Catherine Silva of California, and James McCooey of New York
In the time it takes you to read this section, several Americans will die from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Most likely, dropping dead will be the first indication of a serious heart condition. Friends and relatives may be told that their loved one suffered a "massive heart attack." More likely, their loved one died from SCA, a preventable and treatable condition.
If you are surprised, you are not alone. Most people have never heard of SCA, yet it claims more lives each year in the United States than colorectal cancer, auto accidents, breast cancer, prostate cancer, firearms, AIDS and house fires combined.
Carolyn Whitehead –Norwich, CT – 47 at the time of the event (October, 2002)
The nation’s #1 serial killer strikes every few minutes, and whilst not gruesome, the result is frightening carnage.
Carolyn Whitehead was the lucky one in 20 who did not die. There was nothing wrong with Carolyn’s heart, then or now, however she does suffer from a common and non-threatening condition.
Dick Bylund – St. Louis, MO – 50 at the time of the event (1993)
Sometimes it’s better to break the rules. If a young paramedic in Freemont, CA, had followed procedures to the letter, Dick Bylund wouldn’t be alive today.
Dick was attending his son’s football game at Mission High School in Freemont when he collapsed, a victim of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Two nurses on the scene administered CPR, while a third fan ran to a nearby house to call 911, this being a time before everyone had a cell phone. Fire department personnel arrived within minutes, carrying a manual defibrillator.
A.J. Caliendo – Pittsburgh, PA – 49 at the time of the event (June 2, 1999)
A.J. Caliendo’s two biggest complaints about his sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) episode are that he put in a lot of hard hours rehearsing his first ever community theater play only to be sidelined after one performance, and that he feels he was cheated out of that long tunnel with the bright light on the day when the world went black for about 26 hours.
Are you someone who beat the odds and survived sudden cardiac arrest? Would you like to help other victims survive? Join the SCA Survivor Registry™, the nation’s first online registry for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survivors.
By joining the registry you can find others who have been through similar life-changing events, share their experiences, and help one another in the healing process.
In beating the odds, a survivor has already joined a special and unique group of people. Their stories are eerily similar—a savior who performed CPR, a layperson or professional with a defibrillator, and an ICD implanted for life.
You will find they are eager to meet and talk with you, since you have become one of the family.