Eligible nominees are individuals who helped save the life of an SCA victim, but had no work-related duty to respond to the victim. Lifesaving actions could include one or more of the following: Calling 9-1-1, providing CPR or chest compressions, using an automated external defibrillator (AED). Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. Nominees follow.

I Know That I Have A Living Angel in My Wife

James and Rose Lang
2017 Nominee – Rose Lang
Survivor – James Lang, Oshkosh, WI, 61 at time of event (May 26, 2016)

Location of Event – Home

Let me take you back to early 2016. I was (so I thought) a healthy man who ate right, was active, and lived a good life. My wife and I had just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on April 24, 2016. The evening of May 25, 2016 (a little over a month later) after having a nice dinner with friends we went to bed around 10 pm. I felt tired but great that night, nothing else out of the ordinary. I had been doing some remodeling in our home the day prior before we went out for dinner so I was chalking up my fatigue to the amount of work that I had done that day.

In the Blink of An Eye, Our Lives Changed

Debbie and Brian Freed
2017 Nominee – Debbie Freed
Survivor – Brian Freed, Bloomington, MN, 54 at time of event (September 5, 2012)

Location of Event – Home

Prior to September of 2012 my life was typical. I was 54 years old, married, and always had an excuse as to why I had not quit smoking or gotten any exercise, except for square dancing, which I love to do.

You would think I should have feared dying from a smoking-related disease because my father died from emphysema at age 69 and my mother died from lung cancer at age 70. I had told people that I fully expected to die the same way. I was just hoping to live to 71 years old, so I could outlive my parents. It's not that I liked smoking so much, but it was more that I had tried to quit and couldn't so I figured it was my lot in life. Oh, how wrong I was!

I Am So Lucky to Be Here

Judy and Kevin Marlow
2017 Nominees – Kevin Marlow
Survivor – Judy Marlow, Fowlmere, Hertfordshire, UK, 39 at time of event (February 3, 2014)

Location of Event – Home

My Co-Workers' Fast and Calm Efforts Made All the Difference

Jeanne Burkart with her rescuers Wade Petray and Colin Lee
2017 Nominees – Wade Petray and Colin Lee
Survivor – Jeanne Burkart, Lincoln, NE, 56 at time of event (February 4, 2016)

Location of Event – Workplace

On the afternoon of February 4, 2016, I was in my cubicle at my place of employment, Crete Carrier Corporation, Lincoln, Nebraska, when without warning, I collapsed and stopped breathing. It was like a switch went off. One minute I was standing in front of my computer monitor reading an email and six days later I awoke in a hospital bed with my husband and eldest son at my side. I was wired up to various blinking/beeping monitors. My family informed me I had almost died having suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while at work. I had no idea what a SCA was. The doctors at the hospital told me my co-workers actually saved my life.  

A Testament to the Gift of Caring for Strangers

Paul and Ingrid Rasmussen
2017 Nominee – Ingrid Rasmussen
Survivor – Paul Rasmussen, Minneapolis, MN, 34 at time of event (March 17, 2015)

Location of Event – Restaurant

To my loving wife, Ingrid, and those caring bystanders who came to my aid on the night of March 17, 2015. Please accept my sincere thanks for your compassion so freely given.

The following is an account of Paul Rasmussen's cardiac arrest written by author, Adam Copeland.[1]

I Am a Deeply Proud and Forever Grateful Mom

Ryan, Heather and Taylor Kennedy
2017 Nominees – Ryan and Taylor Kelley
Survivor – Heather Kelley, Bellevue, WA, 48 at time of event (February 5, 2015)

Location of Event – Public setting

On February 5, 2015, Seattle threw the biggest party in our city’s history. Over 700,000 people braved sub-freezing temperatures and filled the streets to cheer on our first time Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.

Much to their surprise and delight, I let my two daughters skip school and took them downtown to join the fun. We were walking to the celebration in CenturyLink Field, but we never made it. Just blocks from the stadium my heart suddenly and unexpectedly stopped. I grabbed daughter’s shoulder and fell straight back onto the sidewalk.

She Was Dead in the Street, But Now is Alive Because He Gave Her CPR

Kelly Plummer and Ray Davidson
2017 Nominee – Ray Davidson
Survivor – Kelly Plummer, Colorado Springs, CO, 45 at time of event (June 5, 2017)

Location of Event – Neighborhood in Clarksville, TN

I Credit My Wife for Knowing CPR, Staying Calm, and Following Dispatcher Instructions

Jaina and Brian Thompson
2017 Nominee – Jaina Thompson
Survivor – Brian Thompson, Scottsdale, AZ, 49 at time of event (December 2 , 1014)

Location of Event – Neighborhood

My name is Brian Thompson. I am from Scottsdale, Arizona, and the father of three kids. I would like to nominate my wife Jaina for the People Saving People Award.

I have always been very active. I work out and eat healthy. I have never had any known heart problems. In early December 2014, after a typical weekend of hiking and playing football, I had gone to dinner with my family and was home in bed by 10 pm. My wife came to bed around midnight and shortly after, heard me gasping for air. She quickly called 911 and started CPR, which likely saved my life.

Because of Her CPR Training and Confidence, I Survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sharon Lopata and Charly Miklaski
2017 Nominee – Sharon Lopata
Survivor – Charly Miklaski, Frisco, TX, 38 at time of event (December 3, 2016)

Location of Event – Marathon in Memphis, TN

On Saturday, December 3, 2016, I was in Memphis, TN, to run my third consecutive (and fourth overall) marathon at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. Every year since 2007, when my four-year-old niece, Sophie Quayle, passed away from a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, my sister has organized a team of fundraisers who join forces to raise awareness of pediatric cancer, and more importantly, raise money for St. Jude at the annual marathon weekend in Memphis.

My Husband Saved My Life and I’ll Be Forever Grateful

Justin and Kristin Toussing
2017 Nominee – Justin Toussing
Survivor – Kristin Toussing, Indianapolis, IN, 29 at time of event (September 13, 2017)

Location of Event – Home

Wednesday, September 13, 2017. It is likely a day I’ll never remember, and with certainty a day that my husband will never forget. It was a day that started just as any other. I had awoken at 6:15 am, as I always do, packed three lunches, ensured our three boys (a set of twins age 7 ½, and a 5-year-old) were in their uniforms, backpacks ready, and then off to school we went. It was my husband’s last scheduled day off before returning to work, and we had planned to spend the day together. I showered, and then my husband decided to do the same.

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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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