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  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Ariel Walker

    Ariel Walker Ohio At 19, my life was totally normal for a college student. Eat, sleep, class, repeat. And then one day, my heart quit beating. I was giving a final presentation in front of a class full of people when everything went dark. When I woke up, I was on the floor with a paramedic looking...
  • Blog Post: Spotlight: Stephanie Bochenek, Kentucky

    Stephanie Bochenek Kentucky I’m Stephanie Bochenek, a 22 year old Kentucky resident, originally from Hamilton, ON. I recently graduated from Michigan State University, where I was a five year student-athlete. All my life I have had a passion for sports, usually playing multiple sports at once...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Gail Harris-Berry

    Gail Harris-Berry Maryland In June of 2011, I had near-death heart episode that doctors declared “I wouldn’t survive.” My family was called in allowed to say “good-bye.” Having had a cardio-catherization, released from the hospital 6 hrs. later. While resting at home...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Jose Maldonado

    Jose Maldonado Maryland In 2002, I suffered a devastating stroke. As I began my struggle with physical therapy, I realized that it was just as tough on me, as it was on my family to see me this way. So, I committed myself to 4 to 6 hours a day of therapy, 5 to 6 days a week. Not only did my efforts...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: April Zelenka

    April Zelenka Wisconsin I was just 14 when I first had an episode of Long QT Syndrome. After I lost consciousness when answering the telephone, I spent three days in the hospital and underwent many tests. Doctors finally confirmed I had Long QT Syndrome, an electrical problem of the heart, and recommended...
  • Blog Post: Spotlight: James Douglas Chew

    James Douglas Chew Iowa Christmas Day 2007 was a day that changed my life. I took a walk around Gray's Lake near downtown Des Moines, Iowa. I had ignored the unusual sensation I had felt earlier in the day in my chest, attributing it to cold weather and not being in good enough physical shape...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Mary Beth Miller

    Mary Beth Miller Alabama Our daughter was born with a very complex congenital heart defect. As new parents we have these dreams for our children: becoming a star athlete; an astronaut; having a family of their own. We never expect those dreams to be replaced with: will they live till tomorrow? My...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Ronna Kratzer

    Ronna Kratzer California The AHA has been a part of my life and many of my family members' lives from birth. As of today, we have 14 family members that have been born with Congenital Heart Defects. Without funding for research, many of my family members may not be alive today. In 2010, I underwent...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Bert Carey

    Bert Carey Newburyport, MA Bert suffered sudden cardiac arrest. Fortunately, when he collapsed, he was in a small store in Newburyport where an 18-year-old senior in high school, Derek, happened to be shopping for a tux for the prom. Derek had just completed a CPR course, which is a graduation requirement...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Olivia Q

    Olivia Q Winthrop, MA More than two-dozen first-graders were squealing and bouncing balls on a mid-February morning in the gym in an East Boston school when six-year-old Olivia suddenly collapsed. No one saw it coming. The little girl with the strawberry-blonde hair and no front teeth had been in...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: The Hodge Family

    JW & Maddie Hodge Nevada On May 4, 2010, my daughter was born. Within 30 minutes she was in supraventricular tachycardia and quickly being transported to the NICU. I witnessed staff responding utilizing the training that I have helped provide for the last ten years. Medication was administered...