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

A College Student’s Story of Survival

For most college students facing their 21st birthday, plans for celebration and exciting thoughts for experiencing new places and people are the common theme. Unfortunately in my case, thoughts of survival and whether I was ever going to maintain a normal lifestyle at 20 were at the forefront of my contemplations. At the age of 15, I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a disease that… Read More

Circle of Life That Nearly Wasn’t

What would you like for your 21st birthday? How about a wearable defibrillator? Liz had to wear one for three months, think of a bullet-proof vest, add a battery and you get the idea. Why would she need or even want that? A few weeks earlier, she had been practicing for the varsity basketball team and doing a “circle of life” sprinting exercise to earn her jersey. She had five seconds to go and… Read More

It Takes a Team to Save a Life

It was right after noon on Good Friday, April 13, 2012, in University Park, PA. Daria Oller, DPT, ATC, PT, CSCS, a PhD Candidate in Kinesiology - Athletic Training and Sports Medicine at Penn State, and Alison Krajewski, MS, ATC, Athletic Training Instructor, were in their academic offices when a squash instructor came running, asking for help. Someone had collapsed on the nearby squash courts.… Read More

Master Swimmers Don't Die…

Brian is a member of a US Masters Swimmer group. There are about 40 of them in Tucson that get together regularly and swim their hearts out at the University of Arizona pool. On this particular Tuesday morning Brian nearly did! About half way into the session he didn’t feel at all well, and got out of the pool with an unusual fatigue. He decided to finish for the day and shower. That was when his… Read More