Posted on 05/09/2014

I would like to nominate Scott Harden, who was my husband at the time, that I fell victim to sudden cardiac arrest. I would also like to nominate Pete Walka (Battalion Chief) and his crew with Guardian Medical Transport, Ron Knoll (our neighbor) and the 911 dispatcher (Kim). Our lives changed forever on Tuesday, November 18, 2008. I was 33 years old, a teacher, and a mother of 2. I went into cardiac arrest while sleeping at our home in Bellemont, AZ, about 12 miles west of Flagstaff. Scott recognized the "gasping"; being trained in 1st responders he began sternum rubs and then chest compressions.

I believe all of the individuals above deserve this nomination because they, as a team, saved my life! Scott recognized the "gasping"; being trained in 1st responders he began sternum rubs, called 911 and then began chest compressions. He recognized the trouble I was in and didn't think twice about what to do. The quick thinking dispatcher called Ron Knoll, an off duty neighbor/co-worker of Scott's, to assist with the chest compressions until medical personnel arrived at our home. I was given multiple shocks to my heart and and injections into my shin bone marrow (using a drill~I later learned...YIKES)! I was told that Pete Walka had just recently learned how to do the bone marrow injections, I was his first patient. I even have the scar to prove it! :) I was also the first patient on FMC's new hydrotherapy beds, where the bags of ice were consistently breaking.

I still keep in contact with Pete, we get together on the anniversary of my episode. I am truly grateful to everyone involved in my event and the support I have since received. Not a day goes by that I don't think of the people that are now a part of my life. There are many others I am thankful for--from my family, co-workers, additional neighbors, church families, ER/ICU nurses and doctors, and therapists (the list goes on). Not one of the individuals above takes credit for saving my life, but I know and truly believe I would not be here, raising two beautiful children if it wasn't for them...ALL of them!

I appreciate your consideration in recognizing my heroes.

To read Kathie's story, click here

Nominated by Kathie Reilly, Flagstaff, AZ