Posted by ksekardi on 04/26/2013
Kathy Sekardi, Phoenix, AZ – 54 at time of event (2012)

On a normal working day at the Supreme Court, Kathy takes her lunch behind a closed door in her office. Lucky for her this particular Wednesday in August 2012 she did not. Instead she had a colleague working with her on a video presentation and so was not alone when her heart stopped beating.

"I said 'I can't breathe,' and fell off my chair. Now I'm, not a big joker, especially at work, but she thought I was kidding!" Realizing Kathy wasn't, she called for help instead.

Kathy's administrative assistant, Julie, knew what to do. She started CPR immediately. Being a state office building there were plenty of resources for this situation. Dave, the facilities manager was a volunteer EMT and certified for CPR and AED use. Alas, there was another medical emergency on the floor below!

"He grabbed the AED and came up to the fourth floor, and [used] it on me," Kathy said with a gulp. "I heard later that Dave just simply wasn't going to stop, he was not going to let me go, not on his watch. I was going to leave the building alive."

There were a large number of people coming and going, plus the EMS arriving, so the scene was quite hectic.

"Apparently, it was pure chaos but a controlled chaos," Kathy explained.

More shocks were required on the trip to the hospital, where she was put into a coma and received hypothermia treatment. She also got an ICD, but no clear explanation of what caused her SCA. She calls it her Plan B, or "the box" although it is a little uncomfortable sometimes - both physically and mentally.

However it isn't preventing Kathy from her passion in life. And that would be MIG welding.

"I can't stop doing it, it's like I'm obsessed with it," she said with a laugh. "Everyday I have to do welding!"

What does she like to weld? Well, Heartbeat Magnets of course. They are an artistic endeavor and also have a community value, raising awareness and funds for the prevention of SCA.

"I have a purpose, that hasn't been revealed to me just yet. I truly believe I need to be here, I need to put out the word." Kathy said to explain.

-Jeremy Whitehead