Spouse of Young Survivor

On August 1, 2014...My wife was just 36yrs old at the time of her Sudden Cardiac Death. Just five weeks earlier we welcomed home our third child. I was out of town for a new job and I encouraged her to load the kids up and head to her parents for help with the kids while I was away. She made it to her parents and that night at 1AM she suffered a cardiac death. Luckily she was up talking with her mother late into the night and there was a witness to the event. CPR was started and once EMS arrived they continued with CPR. She was shocked several times and finally a faint rhythm was found. Once in the hospital she fell into a coma and was on a ventilator. On the third day we decided to begin to ween her off the ventilator. As she began to get stronger and breath on her own, we decided to remove the propofol drip in hopes she'd regain consciousness. Propofol is quickly removed from the body so we expected signs of consciousness within about ten minutes.

My story

I am a 63 year old divorced male. I still work full time and enjoy playing tennis regularly.

On Tuesday evening 1 week ago, I was participating in my regular tennis group clinic, one hour of drills and then one hour of play. Near the end of the first hour, while in the middle of a volley drill, I felt faint (no other warning) and immediately passed out - it was Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I awoke minutes later after being resuscitated by the EMTs (I was later told that the tennis staff used an AED and a friend administered CPR before the EMTs arrived). I remained fully conscious after that while being taken to the ER and admitted to the hospital. The next day I got an angiogram and the following day I got an ICD. I was discharged on Friday, but won't be able to return to work for 2 more weeks.

Another great SCA Survival Story

This is a very short post, but I came across this story today and thought it was worth sharing. While these types of stories aren't uncommon, I guess I appreciated the simple advice of getting CPR training. Obviously, it was awesome to hear about the successful outcome. I haven't had to go through that type of experience, but I can imagine how I would feel if I had to work through that with my spouse and then they returned healthy. So good and worth a share!

SCA Survivor

A week before Christmas in 2017 I developed extreme chest pain. I took an aspirin, a zantac in case it was indigestion and a package of alka selzer. I lost my husband two months ago and had he been there I would have sent him to the store for GasX. I was reluctant to call an ambulance because that is for really serious stuff. I had never called one before. I had been nauseas and had dry heaves twice. I think that is why I decided to call because I had heard in a CPR Class that nausea could be a symptom of a heart attack. I called 911 told them my story and they dispatched an ambulance. It seemed like it took a long time for them to get to my house. No lights no siren. They came in and one guy was hooking me up to leads and the other was sitting at my table asking me how to spell my name etc. I was irritable with him and it was hard to talk. We went out to the ambulance and he said it didn't look like anything to worry about but I could go to the hospital and get checked out.

I need to purchase AED for home use ...Help please

I am a wife to my wonderful husband, a 78-year-old at an increased risk of SCA. He suffered a heart attack 35 years ago left him with stable but low 32% efficiency. He lately developed VT, only one occurrence 29 seconds long. His cardiologist recommended an implant defibrillator ICD but he is refusing and does not want to add complications. I am scared for him. I went and received my CPR training and I want to buy AED for home. We travel a lot so we will take it with us. I am new to this site am looking for recommendations. Where and what should I consider a good option for a home use AED?.......thanks

Best first response: Putting the pieces together

A couple of heart-related local news stories came up the other day and I was struck again by the importance of AED’s and the factors that come into play in determining whether or not an SCA crisis has the best possible outcome. Usually it seems that most of life “out there in the big world” is beyond our control, but there are some crucial pieces of the emergency response puzzle that make a huge difference in life or death outcomes of SCA events. Working individually and with our communities, we can take concrete steps to improve survival rates for SCA right where we live!


Personal Experience

I am a CA survivor!

I was de-fibbed at the side of the road after a car crash by EMT's and air-lifted to a major hospital about 40 miles from the accident scene.

Eight months later at age 68 I have, Thanks be to God, fully recovered. After three months I returned to my job wherein I work about 55 hours a week I have a pacemaker/defib device installed in my chest but, to date, there have been zero recorded events of any kind. In spite of the open heart surgery and implant scars, my wife, family, co-workers and church brethren all agree that I look and perform as if nothing ever happened.

I feel great and enjoy being an inspiration, especially to those who are living with heath issues I have grown spiritually and believe I am calmer and more even-tempered than ever before.

How many households where both adults can perform a 2" chest compression on their spouse?

In the USA there are about 1,000 cardiac arrests each day. About 70% occur in a private residence. Two-thirds of the victims are male.

In a sample of 50 couples, the result was the same as the prior examination with 30 couples: the percentage of households where each adult could perform a single two-inch compression on their spouse was zero.

Does this mean you shouldn't try? NOT AT ALL!

But it does suggest an alternate strategy: Have a personal AED at home and take it with you when you travel!

This works so much better than the suggestion that both spouses should alter their diets to get to where both weigh about 25% more than the other!


Should a lay bystander use CPR/AED?

I have been wondering lately about my legal liability when it comes to using CPR/AED. My career training included the requirement to become certified in First Aid and CPR, along with using an AED. So since I was trained it was assumed that I would start a rescue should an emergency arise in my workplace--and my employer would insure, protect, and defend me if there were any lawsuit against me as a result of my trying to save someone.
I am retired now and it isn’t always obvious what legal risk I as a bystander might be taking when trying to help any victim in need of immediate aid. My First Aid certification has expired and although I plan to get fresh info and training in using an AED, I still have questions about my standing if I’m ever put in the position of first responder to an SCA emergency. Here is what I have found out, according to the American Heart Association and other organizations focused on promoting CPR/AED.

One year SCA Survivor

August 20, 2017 marked the first anniversary of my rebirth! It was exactly a year ago to that date that a SCA changed my life forever. That Friday was a particularly normal Friday, like most Fridays in my life.
I had gone to work all day, went out to eat dinner with some friends, and then went home to bed. It was like I said, a normal Friday. No abnormal symptoms, nothing out of the ordinary. I prepared for bed at around 11:00 pm. I drifted off to sleep and never woke up....

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The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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