My Incident

My Incident

Last October, I was jogging on a treadmill at my gym only going 5.2 mph, which is a slow pace when suddenly everything went black. There was no white light, no shining tunnel just an instant and complete blackout. The next thing I remember is being flat on my back on the now still treadmill with about six people surrounding me. They were asking me questions about what my name was and what day it was. I was confused but I remembered my name and the fog quickly cleared. That's when I saw the AED paddles on my chest and realized that something quite serious had just happened. The EMS had not arrived yet but I was surrounded by a very professional gym staff that had applied CPR and the AED shock, which converted my heart into normal sinus rhythm.

I was extremely fortunate in that the gym had a practiced emergency response to a SCA, which they quickly and expertly applied to me. The fitness director was the one who applied the AED. She happens also to be a certified first-aid instructor who teaches others how to use the AED. This was the first time she applied one for real. I am forever in her debt.

They said I was out for about four to five minutes. After being "converted", I was not feeling bad at all and wanted to simply to go home. The staff advised me that was probably not a wise decision. The EMS arrived within five minutes and they put their EKG monitoring sensors on me and I was off to the local ED where my own cardiologist was waiting. I think I was only in the ED for less then 10 minutes before being taken to the cath lab where two stents where implanted to clear some heart atrial blockages.

I wore an external defibrillator for the next three months before having the ICD operation. It has been about nine months since my SCA and I have suffered no more attacks and the ICD has remained "silent". I have resumed jogging and working out at the same gym with absolutely no after effects. I am one of the very lucky "four percenters" who survive a SCA without any long-term issues.

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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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