Posted by happygirl51 on 12/02/2014

I never thought this would happen to our family. My dad had a heart attack in his 50's, had a stent placed, continued with life as normal, always healthy and active, worked his entire life. My dad, Michael Atkins, 76 years young, died suddenly on November 2, 2014 from sudden cardiac death. He showed no prior symptoms (and always went for his checkups, stress tests, etc) and had just began to lay carpet with my son and there was another man present also. He was laughing and joking and suddenly collapsed on the floor. My son had no training in CPR but was guided over the phone by EMS on what to do and did the best he possibly could. EMS arrived in about 5 minutes and worked with my dad for over 30 minutes, but to no avail. My son described the symptoms (gasping breaths, twitching of the arm and turning blue) which depict SCA. We are all heart broken and wish we could have said goodbye. My dad was loved by all and his great advice, wisdom, and hugs will be missed by all. We all need to raise awareness of this terrible thing called SCA and also advocate in our communities for AED's in public places as well as bystanders being knowledgeable about CPR. Let's all just start a conversation, ask when you go into public places if they have an AED available. One person can make a difference!
This is written in memory of you daddy, I will always love you!!!! Julie


Submitted by Bob Trenkamp on 12/03/2014


...and it's also inspiring. Yes, indeed, one person can make a difference!

Here are some thoughts:
1. most of all sudden cardiac arrests occur in a private residence - not in the mall, etc.
2. in the USA, someone dies of an SCA every 88 seconds.
3. the key to saving more victims is training the potential rescuers in the skills they will need - and that's not what you learn at a certificated CPR course. You need to know how to get people out of bed or out of a deep chair, and you need to know how to perform CPR for an average of 10 minutes. (3.8 to 17.4 minutes in 95% of SCAs)
4. there are free CPR class videos available - just click on "For past trainees" in the left column. There are also free videos about choking emergencies, AED use, and stroke recognition, and the difference between cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke.
5. You might want to find a local doc to be your "medical advisory board" (our MAB doc's are not licensed in NC) and start teaching lots of bystanders. You'll wind up being safer if you train all those around you - the people you see frequently.

Also, you might want to check:



Submitted by SCAFoundation on 12/03/2014


Thank you for your thoughtful note about your father. We are so very sorry for your loss.
We welcome you to our community and hope you will find comfort here.

And when you are ready, we encourage you to get involved in helping to raise awareness and save other lives threatened by sudden cardiac arrest.

Best wishes,

Mary Newman