Running a 5k and then suddenly my heart stopped!Through some encouragement and a little prodding from a neighbor, I decided to set a goal of running a marathon before I turned 50. The euphoria of crossing the finish line is something only those who have gone before can express. I won’t even attempt to justify the feeling in words other than the fact I have been privileged to have the feeling 5 marathon times and 5 half marathon times. I am by no means speedy or fine-tuned like an Olympian – my goal is ‘cross the finish line’ at all costs.
On November 8, 2014, a brisk Saturday morning, I participated in an annual 5k race in Blue Ash, Ohio. Around mile marker 2, my heart stopped and I immediately collapsed. At that moment in time, the “Chain of Survival” kicked in. Another runner and her daughter happened to see what occurred and without hesitation stopped, turned me over on my back, and began hands only CPR. Another unidentified runner (who notified others that he was a doctor) began to perform mouth-to-mouth and CPR. Within 2 minutes, paramedics were on the scene and quickly assumed responsibility. After using a cardiac monitor to defibrillate, they transported me to the nearest emergency room (10 min) where the emergency took great care and handed me over to the cardiac surgeon on-call. I was released from the hospital approximately 72 hours later with a neatly lined chest scar where they performed a triple bypass.
Chain of survival was the only way for me to be able to go home. I am thankful for people who chose to get involved. I don’t remember what happened or how I was feeling just prior to the collapse. My memory was taken away from me but the stories I heard from my first responders have left a permanent mark.