This is my first personal blog post sharing my story with SCA. First off, my name is JR Bunda and I am currently 26 years old. I went into sudden cardiac arrest on December 10, 2012 when I had just turned 22 the week before. At the time I was a senior in college, playing Division I baseball at the University of Portland in Oregon. It has been my dream to play professional baseball since I first picked up a baseball in my childhood, so I was on a quest in pursuit to achieve my childhood goal. I had the talent to reach my dream, which is how I landed a scholarship to play college ball, but still needed much to learn.
On the day of December 10, 2012, I had my first final of my senior fall semester. Our baseball program had a break from workouts and practices due to finals week, but we were still encouraged to continue staying in shape during the couple weeks of academic crunch time. Being able to workout also gives us a break from the stress from finals week. This particular morning, I decided to get my workout in before my final that afternoon. I brought my notes and lightly studied in between sets of squats. I was feeling strong and confident, coming off a productive Fall Ball performance and being in physical top shape. I had been working out with a couple teammates as we naturally pushed each other in encouragement to get better with each rep. After finishing in the weight room, we made our way to the track in University of Portland's Chiles Center to finish our workout with some sprints. We did our first sprint and when we crossed the finish line, everything for me went black.
Reflecting back, I could have been feeling tired, but not fatigue that I had not experienced before being an athlete. I was told by my teammates that as we finished the sprint, I put my hands to my knees, then shortly after dropped to the ground. At first, they thought I was joking and told me to hurry and get back up so we could finish our sprints. But they then realized I was not responding. One of my teammates turned me over and saw that my lips had turned color and was unconscious. As that teammate stayed with me, my other teammate ran down to get help. Our weight coach and training staff rushed to the scene, where they administered CPR until the first responders arrived.
The firefighters got to the scene and took over CPR. The AED was brought out and administered. After what I was told was a few shocks, my heart started beating again. I coughed up blood, was rushed to the hospital where I was put into a medically induced coma for 2 days. Tests were done during this time. I seemed to be fully healthy and the doctors could not find out why this happened to me. After awaking from the coma, an ICD was decided to be implanted in my chest. The next morning after the surgery, I was released from the hospital and on my way home. This was the start to my new life. While there was much to rejoice and be grateful for, such as surviving and being alive and healthy, I had much to process in order to move forward with life.
Since then my life has been an outward success with an internal struggle. My faith in God has kept me going as my life became an inspiration to many. I am currently continuing my dream to play professional baseball. I am currently playing independent professional baseball in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball for the Lincoln Saltdogs in Nebraska. Much has happened from the time I awoke and now as I continue my baseball career. I thank God for just the opportunity to experience life as a second chance. My next blog post will cover the years where I spent recovering and healing since surviving SCA. God bless.