To save one life is as if to save the world.

- The Talmud

Survivor Stories

Do It for Your Family. Do It for the People Who Love You.

Helene Rish, Sanford, FL – 38 at time of event (2012)

I Had No Time to React

Patti Farrell, Milwaukee, WI – 61 at time of event (2013)

Patti Farrell and familyPatti Farrell had always been very healthy, but lately had been experiencing increasing shortness of breath and stomach aches. While shopping at Target, the 61-year-old could hardly breathe and the pain was so intense she had to rest in her car. Her daughter-in-law arrived and took Patti to the hospital, where doctors discovered fluid in her lungs and diagnosed Patti with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. 

A Real Sense of Security

Darren Califano, Sanford, FL – 47 at time of event (2012)

Family Was Always Special To Us, But It's Extra Special Now

Barbara Campbell, Lewisburg, TN – 67 at time of event (2012)

Barbara Campbell & Husband“Family is very important to me. Everyone knows I love family.” For as long as she could remember, 67-year-old Barbara Campbell hosted a weekly Sunday dinner for her four children and six grandchildren. In recent years, the tradition started to take a physical toll. Barbara was constantly exhausted and she would lose her breath just walking across the room. As she was preparing a meal one Sunday, she turned to her husband, Everett and said: “I can’t do this anymore.”

Dancing the Dream

Sue Young, Tiverton, RI – 57 at time of event (2012)

Sue Young

"I was at a birthday party one Friday night," Sue recalled. It was just after dinner at the local restaurant where Brenda's family had arranged the party in November.

"I just felt strange, I couldn't put my finger on it. I didn't feel right, so I went to the ladies room." Sue then felt nauseous and a cold sweat broke out. She knew this was serious.

Proud To Survive

Tawnya Reynolds, Chesapeake, VA – 41 at time of event (2013)

Tawnya Reynolds

It was a hot April afternoon. Tawnya wanted to go for a run — she likes to train for the half marathon — however Billy, her husband, convinced her to do some X-Fit instead. So there they were, the two young daughters on their scooters, Billy and Tawyna on the driveway flipping tractor tires.

"I don't feel good, Billy," Tawnya said and collapsed into his arms. 

A Trip to the Promised Land Results in a Promise

Zachary Gingold, Los Angeles, CA – 14 at time of event (2009)

Zachary Gingold I was fourteen at the time, on a trip to Israel with my family celebrating my sister’s Bat Mitzvah. It was supposed to be a wonderful excursion for everyone, a two-week experience of a lifetime in the holiest of places when tragedy struck. I could hear my heart beat pounding in my ears and it felt as if everyone around me could hear it too. Feeling quite ill, I knew something was wrong.

Proud To Be A Mom

Amanda Haynes, Bedford, TX – 26 at time of event (2008)

 Amanda Haynes My name is Amanda. I was pregnant with my second child. The whole pregnancy was normal and I had a scheduled C-section due to my first being a failure to progress. I don't remember much at the hospital, but as I was told the delivery was fine. I was in recovery and the nurse checked my vitals and left the room. I was talking and laughing, took a sip of juice, and then fell over.

A Rude Awakening

Kim Mendes, Charlotte, NC – 46 at time of event (2013)

Kim is an early riser. The alarm wakes her at 4:30am but she does like a little snooze before getting out of bed. This one time the snooze went longer than normal. Arnesto her husband heard a strange sound, he called out "Binky?", but when he looked over he saw Kim had her tongue between her teeth and wasn't breathing.

Who Knew She Was Out For a Walk?

Julie Stone, Des Moines, IA – 54 at time of event (2012)

Julie Stone

Life can be stressful, and we all have ways to relieve it. For Julie the choice was not obviously dangerous, how could it be? iPod and sneakers, pounding the pavement in the local neighborhood and she went down. Face down that is, just a block from her home. The neighbors were shocked to see it happen and especially when they realized Julie had no pulse, and no breaths. But, they immediately called 9-1-1.

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