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  • Blog Post: 2014 Heart on the Hill a Success

    April 2 was our Minnesota Heart on the Hill. We had 38 volunteers at the Capitol to meet with legislators. Our issues this year included asking for $6 million for Safe Routes to School infrastructure, AED registry, and comprehensive transportation funding that includes designated funding for active transportation...
  • Blog Post: April Update from Springfield

    Below is a legislation update from Alex Meixner, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. All – we have some good progress to report in Springfield on the systems-of-care front, as Illinois’ annual spring legislative session rolls on.  So without further ado: ...
  • Blog Post: Share your Story: Kent & Marcia Seeker

    Kent and Marcia Seeker Wisconsin On April 21st, 2009, my beloved wife, Marcia, suffered a heart attack just as we were going to bed. I wasn't sure WHAT was wrong, but I knew that I needed help and called 911. Amber, the 911 operator, had me relay what was happening then had me begin compression...
  • Blog Post: CPR Training at the Illinois Statehouse

    American Heart Association volunteers led by AHA Illinois Advocacy Committee member J.R. Dietl taught over 100 Capitol staff how to save a life last month by training them in CPR and AED use. With the legislature in recess that week, legislative and Capitol building staff took advantage of a comparably...
  • Blog Post: Lauren's Law Heard in the House Education Committee

    Last week, Lauren's Law , HB 3724, was heard in front of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. This bill would ensure all Illinois high schools students were trained in CPR and AED use prior to high school graduation. It is named in honor of Lauren Laman who tragically lost her...
  • Blog Post: Register Now for Minnesota's Heart on the Hill

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Register here for this free event Join other advocates to speak with Minnesota legislators in a strong, unified voice about the importance of fighting heart disease and stroke. Advocate for the following issues: Promote physical activity to reduce heart...
  • Blog Post: Lauren’s Law in the News

    In December, we had some great media attention around Lauren’s Law, HB 3724, a bill that would require all Illinois high school students to be trained in CPR and AED use prior to high school graduation. Please check out this great coverage and awareness below. Then check our www.becprsmart.org...
  • Blog Post: AED Registry Bill Has Informational Hearing

    American Heart Association volunteers Kim Harkins and Katie Tewalt testified in the House Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday January 29th in support of a bill the would require all public access Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be registered in a maintenance program. AEDs are...
  • Blog Post: Lauren's Law Gaining Co-Sponsors in the House

    We have been working hard to secure co-sponsors for Lauren’s Law, HB 3724 - a bill that would require all high school students in Illinois to be trained in CPR and AED use prior to high school graduation. We are pleased to announce the following members listed below of the Illinois House have signed...
  • Blog Post: Help Us Create the Next Generation of Life-Savers in Illinois

    Lauren was a senior in high school when she collapsed during drill team practice of a sudden cardiac arrest. When paramedics arrived, they found that no one had used the AED that was readily available and sadly Lauren died. Watch the story to learn more about the work this local family is doing to...
  • Blog Post: Advocating for AED Legislation

    Take Action! Do you know what AED stands for? More importantly, do you know where the nearest AED is and will it be maintained and ready to be used? Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, are used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm when someone is suffering a cardiac arrest. Different...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Gene Johnson

    Gene Johnson New Brighton, MN On Sept.11,2002 I had a heart attack, followed immediately by a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I had a series of miracles and fortuitous events that followed. My daughter called and told my wife to check on dad. I was laying on the driveway with the garden hose spewing...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Susan Armstrong

    Susan Armstrong Carmel, IN My heart story is somewhat different in that I had a strong idea something was wrong with my health, but I denied all the signs. Shortly after 9/11 in 2001, I had the worst flu ever. Little did I know it was probably a virus attacking my heart. During the next twelve months...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Con Olson

    Con Olson Kansas I originally became involved with the American Heart Association through my career. As a paramedic, we recognized the American Heart Association as the gold standard for our CPR and ACLS courses. Over time, I have had the opportunity to provide training certifications, become a BLS...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Bertina Patterson

    Bertina Patterson Indianapolis, IN It was the day that changed my life. I worked as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital. While in the middle of passing the daily medications, I had a severe headache and started dropping items. I went to the head nurse and told her what was happening. She noticed that...
  • Blog Post: Hands Only CPR Now The Standard

    You may think you know how to perform CPR -- a mix of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breaths. But that is no longer the standard, according to Dr. John Dery, Associate Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. "The focus has shifted from adding...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Gabe Miller

    Gabe Miller Rochester, MN One morning a couple of years ago I was working out at a gym near my house. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man begin to struggle about three or four reps into his set of dips. He dismounted the machine, red in the face, and looked as if he was going to pass out. In...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Aaron Grefrath

    Aaron Grefrath Missouri My story begins in December 2008. I was 37 years old at the time. It was a normal December day as I was gearing up for Christmas Break at work. I was sitting at my desk performing normal day to day operations on my computer. I was feeling fine, the next thing I knew I woke...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Butch & Susie Gibbs

    Butch & Susie Gibbs Iowa On April 2, 2004, I was performing in our annual community play which ended a little after 9:00pm and as the play ended, I started having chest pain. Not long after arriving home, I went into sudden cardiac arrest. My wife, Susie, had already called the ambulance when...
  • Blog Post: Hands-Only CPR can save lives!

    Here's a great story you may have missed that was in the Detroit News recently : It was supposed to be a relaxing evening for Garfield Drennan on that cold, late January night. Just before he sat down to watch TV, Drennan’s 69-year-old heart simply stopped. When his wife with the help...
  • Blog Post: Plymouth's Heart Safe Initiative aims to save lives

    Justin wanted me to share this infomation about AHA advocate Norm Okerstrom's work. Teddy Okerstrom, 16, went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest on the Wayzata High School football field while running sprints on June 16, 2009. Teddy’s heart experienced ventricular fibrillation, meaning his heart...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Austin Redd

    Austin Redd Missouri I left for school the morning of May 13, 2010 just like any other morning...but that day would end up very different than the rest. I collapsed at school because of what we now know was an undetected birth defect. I had no warning signs before my collapse. Due to the quick...
  • Blog Post: Study shows citywide policy may help stroke patients recover

    Alex wanted to make sure you saw this article on the importance of having a stroke system of care from the Chicago Sun-Times: A citywide policy enacted in 2011 — involving Chicago ambulance crews taking suspected stroke patients directly to accredited hospitals with accredited stroke centers...
  • Blog Post: My Story - Pam Gaines

    Pam Gaines Nebraska When heart disease strikes, it does not differentiate between sex, age, or severity. It can be devastating both emotionally and physically. I can tell you that it can be a life changing event and that it should be taken seriously. I am a nurse and a heart attack survivor, and I...
  • Blog Post: My Story - Don Bernhagen

    Don Bernhagen North Dakota Two months after suffering a cardiac arrest, I was alive to welcome my first grandchild to the world. Three years ago while working at my job in construction at a local school, I suffered sudden cardiac arrest and slumped to the floor. A bystander quickly started CPR...