Posted by mnewman on 06/19/2009

I am thinking today of all the fathers who survived sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) because someone close by was ready, willing and able to help. Someone who, by the way, looks a lot like you.

Just last week, I was privileged to hear two fathers--recent SCA survivors--share their experiences during an American Heart Association meeting in Washington, D.C. Eddie Rinehart, of Austin, TX, and Jim Niskanen, of Modesto, CA, were grateful for many things--but most of all, they were grateful to be reunited with their families.

"I am so thankful that my wife is not a widow and I will get to see my girls (Ella and Grace, 3 and 5) grow up," said Eddie.

Jim, recalling the words of Ernie Banks, former Chicago Cubs player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, who said, "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame... Let's play two!"  adapted the phrase accordingly. "It's a great day for living," Jim said. "Let's play two." Jim served as the best man in his son's wedding--which had to be postponed until this past January because of his cardiac arrest last fall. And he has since retired to help save other lives.

So many survivors in our online registry, we have found, view their lives in two parts--before and after their near death experience. So many survivors echo the sentiments shared by Eddie and Jim. Somehow, surviving SCA helps you focus on what really matters.