Letter: Please support the American Heart Association Feb. 14th

Last November, I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest as the result of a heart attack. As a healthy and fit, 35-year old mother of three, I never thought something like this could happen to me.

On Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, while home with my three children, I collapsed. Although she is only 8 years old, my daughter Sloan was incredibly brave and called my sister to tell her I had fallen and she couldn’t wake me up. While my brother-in-law called 911, my sister stayed on the phone and instructed Sloan to run to our neighbor Mark Donarski’s house for help. Thankfully, Mark had been trained in performing CPR and was able to start administering aid right away. Within minutes the rescue team arrived, they shocked my heart four times but were unable to get a pulse. The paramedics then arrived and took over, after shocking my heart three more times they were able to get a pulse and I was transported to Sanford Medical Center. I know I beat the odds and have Sloan and Mark to thank for providing the first link in my chain of survival. All of the doctors and first responders credit Mark’s ability to administer CPR as the biggest factor in saving my life.

Each year there are more than 350,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests, almost 90 percent of those individuals will die. When someone has a cardiac arrest, their survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby, which can triple a victim’s chance of survival. However only about half of sudden cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander.

The American Heart Association works hard in communities across North Dakota to help train bystanders in performing CPR to help save a life like it did mine. Your donation to Giving Hearts day will help provide funding to the CPR in Schools program, which ensures every North Dakota student receives instruction on Hands-Only CPR prior to graduation, creating an entire generation of lifesavers for our state.

Please support Giving Hearts Day and the American Heart Association on Feb. 14.