Eligible nominees are individuals who helped save the life of an SCA victim, but had no work-related duty to respond to the victim. Lifesaving actions could include one or more of the following: Calling 9-1-1, providing CPR or chest compressions, using an automated external defibrillator (AED). Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. Nominees follow.

Be Like Bill

Bill Schlies and Jeff Utzinger
2017 Nominee – Bill Schlies
Survivor – Jeff Utzinger, Carmel, IN, 46 at time of event (June 20, 2017)

Location of Event – Neighborhood

My name is Jeff Utzinger and I would like to nominate Bill Schlies for the People Saving People Award. On June 20th, 2017, I collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest while out for a morning run in my neighborhood, an activity I do very regularly, ironically, to prevent this kind of thing from happening. While I have no recollection of the event, I do know the facts surrounding it – the biggest being that Bill Schlies saved my life. He happened to be driving by (going a different way at a different time to work for reasons he doesn’t know) and saw my body on the side of the road. He stopped, realized I wasn't breathing and called 911.

His Quick Actions Clearly Saved My Life, and Possibly My Intellect

Gary Schiller and Sherif Badawy
2017 Nominee – Sherif Badawy, MD
Survivor – Gary Schiller, MD, Los Angeles, CA, 56 at time of event (December 6, 2015)

Location of Event – 5K Run in Orlando, FL

Please accept my nomination of Sherif Badawy, MD, Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology; Instructor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Sherif was among 900 individuals participating in a 5K run around the perimeter of the Orlando Convention center at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology on December 6, 2015. I was also in the crowd, as Vice-Chair of the Foundation Committee for the Society. 

She Was Not Only My Hero, She Was An Inspiration to the Miners!

Carole Puryear and Connie Branson
2017 Nominee – Carole Puryear
Survivor – Connie Branson, Madisonville, KY, 57 at time of event (January 4, 2017)

Location of Event – Country Road

My name is Connie Branson, and I would like to nominate Carole Puryear for the 2017 SCA People Saving People Award because she saved my life on January 4, 2017. This morning started off like nearly every morning – Carole and I got up early to get our five miles in, as we were training for four races this year. Roughly four minutes into our walk down a country road in the hills of Kentucky, we saw a car coming around the corner. Like all runners, we got into a single file – Carole in front. This driver slowed down, rolled down his window, and said to Carole, “Miss, your friend has collapsed!”

Theresa's CPR Kept Me Alive

Mike Neubauer
2017 Nominee – Theresa Paulsen Hayes
Survivor – Mike Neubauer, San Francisco CA, 70 at time of event (January 1, 2015)

Location of Event – Parking Lot at Mall

My Co-Workers' Fast and Calm Efforts Made All the Difference

Jeanne Burkart with her rescuers Wade Petray and Colin Lee
2017 Nominees – Wade Petray and Colin Lee
Survivor – Jeanne Burkart, Lincoln, NE, 56 at time of event (February 4, 2016)

Location of Event – Workplace

On the afternoon of February 4, 2016, I was in my cubicle at my place of employment, Crete Carrier Corporation, Lincoln, Nebraska, when without warning, I collapsed and stopped breathing. It was like a switch went off. One minute I was standing in front of my computer monitor reading an email and six days later I awoke in a hospital bed with my husband and eldest son at my side. I was wired up to various blinking/beeping monitors. My family informed me I had almost died having suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while at work. I had no idea what a SCA was. The doctors at the hospital told me my co-workers actually saved my life.  

A Testament to the Gift of Caring for Strangers

Paul and Ingrid Rasmussen
2017 Nominee – Ingrid Rasmussen
Survivor – Paul Rasmussen, Minneapolis, MN, 34 at time of event (March 17, 2015)

Location of Event – Restaurant

To my loving wife, Ingrid, and those caring bystanders who came to my aid on the night of March 17, 2015. Please accept my sincere thanks for your compassion so freely given.

The following is an account of Paul Rasmussen's cardiac arrest written by author, Adam Copeland.[1]

I Am a Deeply Proud and Forever Grateful Mom

Ryan, Heather and Taylor Kennedy
2017 Nominees – Ryan and Taylor Kelley
Survivor – Heather Kelley, Bellevue, WA, 48 at time of event (February 5, 2015)

Location of Event – Public setting

On February 5, 2015, Seattle threw the biggest party in our city’s history. Over 700,000 people braved sub-freezing temperatures and filled the streets to cheer on our first time Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.

Much to their surprise and delight, I let my two daughters skip school and took them downtown to join the fun. We were walking to the celebration in CenturyLink Field, but we never made it. Just blocks from the stadium my heart suddenly and unexpectedly stopped. I grabbed daughter’s shoulder and fell straight back onto the sidewalk.

She Was Dead in the Street, But Now is Alive Because He Gave Her CPR

Kelly Plummer and Ray Davidson
2017 Nominee – Ray Davidson
Survivor – Kelly Plummer, Colorado Springs, CO, 45 at time of event (June 5, 2017)

Location of Event – Neighborhood in Clarksville, TN

I Credit My Wife for Knowing CPR, Staying Calm, and Following Dispatcher Instructions

Jaina and Brian Thompson
2017 Nominee – Jaina Thompson
Survivor – Brian Thompson, Scottsdale, AZ, 49 at time of event (December 2 , 1014)

Location of Event – Neighborhood

My name is Brian Thompson. I am from Scottsdale, Arizona, and the father of three kids. I would like to nominate my wife Jaina for the People Saving People Award.

I have always been very active. I work out and eat healthy. I have never had any known heart problems. In early December 2014, after a typical weekend of hiking and playing football, I had gone to dinner with my family and was home in bed by 10 pm. My wife came to bed around midnight and shortly after, heard me gasping for air. She quickly called 911 and started CPR, which likely saved my life.

Because of Her CPR Training and Confidence, I Survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sharon Lopata and Charly Miklaski
2017 Nominee – Sharon Lopata
Survivor – Charly Miklaski, Frisco, TX, 38 at time of event (December 3, 2016)

Location of Event – Marathon in Memphis, TN

On Saturday, December 3, 2016, I was in Memphis, TN, to run my third consecutive (and fourth overall) marathon at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. Every year since 2007, when my four-year-old niece, Sophie Quayle, passed away from a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, my sister has organized a team of fundraisers who join forces to raise awareness of pediatric cancer, and more importantly, raise money for St. Jude at the annual marathon weekend in Memphis.

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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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