A Trip to the Promised Land Results in a Promise

I was fourteen at the time, on a trip to Israel with my family celebrating my sister’s Bat Mitzvah. It was supposed to be a wonderful excursion for everyone, a two-week experience of a lifetime in the holiest of places when tragedy struck. I could hear my heart beat pounding in my ears and it felt as if everyone around me could hear it too. Feeling quite ill, I knew something was wrong. Within… Read More

Who Knew She Was Out For a Walk?

Life can be stressful, and we all have ways to relieve it. For Julie the choice was not obviously dangerous, how could it be? iPod and sneakers, pounding the pavement in the local neighborhood and she went down. Face down that is, just a block from her home. The neighbors were shocked to see it happen and especially when they realized Julie had no pulse, and no breaths. But, they immediately… Read More

A Rude Awakening

Kim is an early riser. The alarm wakes her at 4:30am but she does like a little snooze before getting out of bed. This one time the snooze went longer than normal. Arnesto her husband heard a strange sound, he called out "Binky?", but when he looked over he saw Kim had her tongue between her teeth and wasn't breathing.He called 9-1-1 and started chest compressions immediately, right there on the… Read More

He Would Not Stop

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… Read More

He Was a Challenge, But He's Not Leaving

Jack and Davelyn had a restaurant, just a small local place, called the Bottle & Bean Bistro, north of Raleigh. The hours were a bit of a strain, maybe a bit too much for Jack because he keeled over one evening just around closing time. The cook found him on the kitchen floor and called out. Deb and Tammy, customers sampling a glass or two of wine with Davelyn, came to the rescue. Deb being a… Read More

Marathon Man Had the Luckiest Day of His Life

If you run 1,000 miles a year you'd think you were healthy and "cardiac safe". If you have run seven marathons you'd know you're fit and healthy. Except for that one time. It was the eighth marathon, and Tony never got past the 2 mile mark. "It was just like any other day, for a marathon. Everything was pretty much the same as every run I'd trained for... We were all lined up at the starting… Read More

Whenever His Back Aches

Douglas was at a peak of fitness and had done all the right things; eating healthily, losing weight, working out. So when he felt a terrible back-ache at the Notre Dame game he didn't think of cardiac issues. Alas, he didn't get to see his alma mater kickoff. Neither did his father. They spent the next week in a hospital trying to understand what caused Douglas to fall face down on the pavement… Read More

No Stopping Those Roller-coaster Rides!

Born with congenital heart defects means that Michelle has been sport restricted her whole life. She got her first cardiac device implanted as a toddler. She joined the zipper club before primary school, and she absolutely loves a roller-coaster ride. One Monday afternoon at school gym playing dodgeball, Michelle felt ill, took a break and collapsed. On the wall next to her was an AED, the Art… Read More

Spring Break Nearly Broke Her

April fools day is not the time to fool around with a heart attack. Not if you live out in the country. And not if you're a Grandmother. Alas, Patricia didn't realize she was suffering a complete blockage of her LAD artery. In men it's called a "widow maker". A few days before, Patricia's arms had felt sore. "Like I had been moving furniture!" she said. But she hadn't. She also felt a little out… Read More

This Movie Nearly Had a Bad Ending

My story begins on April 1, 2010. I had spent the day with my grandaughter. We had gone to the movies and out to lunch and had a nice day. That afternoon, right after my daughter left with my granddaughter, I started feeling dizzy and short of breath. I called my husband and told him I needed to see a doctor. He happened to be right around the corner and was there to pick me up in minutes. He… Read More