A Real Sense of Security

Just a few days before Christmas, Darren Califano had a heart attack. He was admitted to the hospital for seven days and during his stay he underwent an interventional procedure to open arteries in his heart, including the placement of a stent. After the procedure, Darren’s heart was still not pumping blood efficiently, and his physicians told Darren he was at very high risk for sudden cardiac… Read More

I Had No Time to React

Patti Farrell had always been very healthy, but lately had been experiencing increasing shortness of breath and stomach aches. While shopping at Target, the 61-year-old could hardly breathe and the pain was so intense she had to rest in her car. Her daughter-in-law arrived and took Patti to the hospital, where doctors discovered fluid in her lungs and diagnosed Patti with non-ischemic… Read More

Do It for Your Family. Do It for the People Who Love You.

When Helene Rish’s cardiologist told her that she had “non-ischemic cardiomyopathy,” she was shocked. The 38-year-old schoolteacher was admitted to the hospital for symptoms of pneumonia and never considered that she had a heart problem. But after several tests, doctors found that Helene’s ejection fraction was only 10-15%, putting her at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest. A normal “ejection… Read More

Dancing the Dream

"I was at a birthday party one Friday night," Sue recalled. It was just after dinner at the local restaurant where Brenda's family had arranged the party in November. "I just felt strange, I couldn't put my finger on it. I didn't feel right, so I went to the ladies room." Sue then felt nauseous and a cold sweat broke out. She knew this was serious.Brenda came into the room and Sue asked her to… Read More

Proud To Survive

It was a hot April afternoon. Tawnya wanted to go for a run — she likes to train for the half marathon — however Billy, her husband, convinced her to do some X-Fit instead. So there they were, the two young daughters on their scooters, Billy and Tawyna on the driveway flipping tractor tires. "I don't feel good, Billy," Tawnya said and collapsed into his arms. Billy is the fire battalion chief,… Read More

Proud To Be A Mom

My name is Amanda. I was pregnant with my second child. The whole pregnancy was normal and I had a scheduled C-section due to my first being a failure to progress. I don't remember much at the hospital, but as I was told the delivery was fine. I was in recovery and the nurse checked my vitals and left the room. I was talking and laughing, took a sip of juice, and then fell over. My husband, best… Read More

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