Survivor Stories

Survivor Stories

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.

He Would Not Stop

Kathy Sekardi, Phoenix, AZ – 54 at time of event (2012)

On a normal working day at the Supreme Court, Kathy takes her lunch behind a closed door in her office. Lucky for her this particular Wednesday in August 2012 she did not. Instead she had a colleague working with her on a video presentation and so was not alone when her heart stopped beating.

He Was a Challenge, But He's Not Leaving

Jack Rivers, Youngsville, NC – 63 at time of event (2011)

Jack Rivers

Jack and Davelyn had a restaurant, just a small local place, called the Bottle & Bean Bistro, north of Raleigh. The hours were a bit of a strain, maybe a bit too much for Jack because he keeled over one evening just around closing time. The cook found him on the kitchen floor and called out. Deb and Tammy, customers sampling a glass or two of wine with Davelyn, came to the rescue. Deb being a sports trainer knew CPR and Tammy - well let's just say she's now the first gynecologist with a male patient!

Marathon Man Had the Luckiest Day of His Life

Tony Lindeman, Akron, OH – 46 at time of event (2012)

Tony Lindeman If you run 1,000 miles a year you'd think you were healthy and "cardiac safe". If you have run seven marathons you'd know you're fit and healthy. Except for that one time. It was the eighth marathon, and Tony never got past the 2 mile mark.

"It was just like any other day, for a marathon. Everything was pretty much the same as every run I'd trained for... We were all lined up at the starting line, discussing who was going to be the last one in," Tony said. "We took off and started running, everything was fine, after the first mile and a half I remember making the turn [onto a street] and from there it's a blank."

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