Archive - Jul 2, 2013

Archive - Jul 2, 2013

Former President Ford's Daughter, Susan Ford Bales, Discusses her Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the Importance of Public Awareness

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Susan Ford Bales was 53 and had no idea that she had heart disease, when one day she went into sudden cardiac arrest while exercising on an elliptical machine.

“I was extremely lucky,” said Bales, who spoke Tuesday, June 4, at the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball at the JW Marriott. “I was in the gym, and the top thoracic surgeon in Tulsa was walking up the steps, and so he shocked me back.”

After she was revived with an automated electronic defibrillator, Bales received a heart stent and a pacemaker.

Bales, the daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford, touched on her cardiac arrest in 2010 and her family’s history of heart disease in her talk at the association gala, which raises funds for research, community programs and education.

Speaking about her own health is a change of pace for Bales, who frequently promotes her mother, Betty Ford’s medical causes: breast cancer and substance abuse treatment.

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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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