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My Story: Rock Rocklage

Rock Rocklage Rosemount, MN

When the helicopter arrived they refused to transport me stating; "We don't transport dead people."

My cardiac event occurred at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, September 22, 2007.  I was driving to a client's house for a listing appointment in Apple Valley, MN, travelling about 50 m.p.h. when I suffered a Cardiac Arrest and hit an oncoming car head on.  Thankfully no one in the oncoming car was seriously injured, but it is estimated that I was without oxygen for about 18 minutes.  I had OnStar in my car and that initiated the emergency responders.  They had to shock my heart three times in order for it to begin beating.  In the meantime a helicopter arrived, but refused to transport me stating "We don't transport dead people."  Eventually I was rushed to a hospital, but they weren't equipped to treat patients like me, so they rushed me to a trauma center.  I was in a coma for about a week during which time my family was told to start making alternative plans.  I remained at the hospital for five weeks, not remembering anything.  After months of intensive rehab my health began to get better.  In the intermittent time I have undergone a quadruple bypass, had stents put in and also had a defibrillator installed.  At the present time I am quite healthy and very grateful for everyone who had anything to do with my recovery.

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Save the Date - 2015 Iowa Legislative Breakfast!

Join us for our annual 2015  Legislative Breakfast! Stop by anytime between 7:30 AM—9:30 AM to introduce yourself to your lawmakers and enjoy a heart healthy breakfast!

We will have information so you can learn more about our newest issues and we will also provide you with materials you can give to your lawmaker to help us educate them and ask for their support.  Breakfast is included and there is no cost to attend but advance registration is appreciated.

What:  2015 Iowa Legislative Breakfast
When:  Wednesday, January 14, 2015 from 7:30am - 9:30pm
Where:  Iowa State Capitol Building, First Floor Rotunda - East Wing, 1007 E Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50319

Click on this link to RSVP today!  Plan to be there the entire time or just stop by on your way to work! We look forward to seeing you there!

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We're Thankful... For You

It has been an incredibly exciting year in the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, full of policy advancement and growth in our You’re the Cure network. None of our success could have happened without the work of you, our many dedicated advocates.

We are thankful for you.

Our DC advocates worked hard and accomplished two major policy wins so far this year: a tobacco funding policy that went into effect as of October 1, as well as a Worksite Wellness healthy vending and procurement policy win. These deserve major congratulations! As our year progresses, we know without a doubt we will be able to achieve even more success across our affiliate.

We are thankful for you.

Advocates and staff have been working together at Heart Walks across the affiliate to recruit new You’re the Cure members, and educate walkers on our policy issues for this year. Since July 1, we have seen our You’re the Cure network grow by over 5,000 new advocates who have been adding their voice to our campaigns to help us make even more progress this year. We would like to share a very large "thank you" with all of our advocates who joined us early in the morning to help us accomplish this growth!

We are thankful for you.

In August, we reached out to our advocates to participate in our August Recess activity and help deliver lunch bags with puzzle pieces to their federal legislators in support of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. This policy’s aim of protecting strong nutrition standards for school meals was just one of many opportunities for advocates to get to know their advocacy staff and other advocates, as well as their legislators, on a deeper level while completing offline actions – actions which have resulted in a direct, positive impact on their communities.

We are thankful for you.

Recently we were able to offer a virtual Volunteer Summit in AHA offices across the nation, which brought together high level volunteers, board members, and staff to discuss the new Community Plan 2.0. We had four volunteers attend. Tracey Perry shared her experience: "The Volunteer Summit was an excellent opportunity to review the Community Plan 2.0 and National Agenda of AHA. It was then very helpful to review our local Charlotte Market and see how our Health Assessment compared. We discussed ways to increase engagement of volunteers, increase prospects, and focus on the three top Health Priorities for 2015.

We are thankful for you.

Nothing causes our hearts to sing more than when an advocate has that feeling of making a true difference. Ginnie Gick summed up one of her experiences as an advocate. "Being able to participate in the Rally for Medical Research on Capitol Hill really brought home the importance of advocating for the funding that is so necessary to support the fight against heart disease and stroke. I met so many incredible people who are struggling with the challenge to live a normal life in spite of their risk or illness, and every one of us deserves the opportunity to ask for and receive the benefit of advancements in medicine."

We are thankful for you.

Over the next several months, our states will begin their new 2015 sessions and there will be a host of new opportunities to amplify your voice through advocacy. Without your passion and involvement, the American Heart Association would not be where we are in the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, passing policy that keeps communities healthy.

Thanksgiving is why.

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Dr. Sohah Iqbal, New York City

Dr. Sohah Iqbal is the current president of the American Heart Association Young Professionals, an Interventional Cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, and a staunch advocate for CPR education in our city's high schools.

Dr. Iqbal poignantly shares the story of two of her own patients who both presented with a cardiac arrest at their gyms. Both were under that age of 50, both were generally active but mildly overweight. Neither patient smoked nor saw a doctor regularly. Both were brought to the hospital by EMTs where Dr Iqbal was able to open up the blocked arteries to stop the damage to the heart. However, this is where the similarities stopped. One of the patients left the hospital alive a few weeks later and the other never woke up from the coma after his cardiac arrest, even though his heart was fixed. The difference is that the patient that lived had CPR initiated right away by another person working out at the gym while the other did not. He had to wait until EMTa arrived to start CPR, and by then it was too late.

Dr. Iqbal loves her job but the hardest thing is knowing the most crucial minutes happen before she ever sees the patient. Knowing that more New Yorkers need to learn how to do CPR so she can save more lives as a cardiologist, she is asking Commissioner John King of the NY State Education Department to recommend this curriculum standard for every high school across the state!

Photo: Dr. Iqbal at the Statehouse in Albany for the AHA's CPR Rally (June 2014).

 

 

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Thankful for Volunteer Efforts

With the addition of 76 freshmen students from Champlain Valley Union High School, Williston teenager Tommy Watson has now trained nearly 1,500 people in hands-only CPR! Not bad for a youth who started out with a goal of training 100 people when we met two years ago.

You may recall Tommy helped the American Heart Association pass legislation requiring the instruction of hands-only CPR in Vermont schools. I’ve watched as Tommy traveled to Washington, DC and New York City to spread the word about the importance of CPR. I’ve seen him train young and old, teachers and students, scouts and state leaders, and my Dad.

You’d think I wouldn’t be surprised any more by his efforts. But, just recently, Tommy was awarded the 2014 ABC Summer of Service Youth Service Award. The award came with a $1,000 check. Tommy, being Tommy, donated it to the American Heart Association.

As we near Thanksgiving, I hold a fondness and immense gratitude for all of our volunteers. I can’t imagine a better mission or group of people to work with. And this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful my path crossed Tommy’s. Many lives are better for it.

Watch WVNY’s story about Tommy’s efforts here: http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/story/d/story/change-is-a-heartbeat-away/24096/xP95jeamgESKw6TgFK5gkw

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6 Lives Saved and Counting!

Congratulations to Dr. Marc Kutler and The Edge fitness facilities for yet another life saved!

Dr. Marc Kutler, an emergency department physician from Northwestern Medical Center, is a strong advocate for CPR and public access to defibrillation. He helped the AHA pass legislation two years ago requiring hands-only CPR and the use of an AED to be taught as part of comprehensive health education in Vermont schools.

And, if that wasn't enough, he also helped start and oversees an AED program at The Edge fitness centers in Essex and Williston. Thanks to this great program, Marc and The Edge had previously saved the lives of 5 cardiac arrest victims. And just this past week, they added one more life saved when a 69 year old woman collapsed from a cardiac arrest and they sprang to action.

Thanks to Marc's advocacy for a strong chain of survival at schools and businesses, lives are being saved!

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Tell the Board of Regents to say YES to CPR!

Will the Board of Regents say YES to CPR in Schools? As you know the Governor signed the CPR in Schools bill...So what now? The Commissioner of the State Education Department and the Board of Regents must provide their stamp of approval. The Commissioner has 180 days to issue a report on CPR/AED instruction in the curriculum. From there, the Board of Regents has 60 days to accept or reject the recommendations.

What will the Commissioner recommend? We don't know yet...and that's why we need you to stay with us for the next step. We'll reach out to the Regents every week with a reason to say YES to CPR in Schools...remember our So Many Reasons campaign? It's real stories of real New Yorkers impacted by sudden cardiac arrest and CPR. And the first reason? Kevin Foord…Kevin is alive because his daughter knew CPR. In fact, she learned it as a teenager. Today we need you to click below to share Kevin’s story with the Board of Regents.

We'll make it easy for you to send a message to the Board of Regents each week. It may be a simple email or a social media post. One minute each week - that's all. Will you commit to one minute each week to send a lifesaving message? Start today by sharing Kevin’s story!

CLICK HERE TO SEND A LIFESAVING MESSAGE:

http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=35647

Kevin was one of the lucky ones – nearly 90 percent of cardiac arrest victims die. Since the day Kevin was saved, he has walked his little girl down the aisle and become a grandfather twice! Why teach CPR in Schools? So that more Dads can walk their little girl down the aisle…and more Dads can become grandfathers…and more babies can spend time with their grandparents.

More families can have the happy ending Kevin has if CPR is taught as part of the school curriculum.

 

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CPR in Schools...are you ready for the next step?

Are you ready to take the next step to ensure students in NY learn CPR before graduation? As you know the Governor signed the CPR in Schools bill...what does this mean? Now the Commissioner of the State Education Department and the Board of Regents must provide their stamp of approval. The Commissioner has 180 days to issue a report on CPR/AED instruction in the curriculum. From there, the Board of Regents has 60 days to accept or reject the recommendations.

So what will the Commissioner recommend? We don't know yet...and that's why we need you to stay with us for the next step. It's important that the Board of Regents start hearing from us now about why we need CPR for students and what should be included in school CPR programs. We'll reach out to the Regents every week with a reason to support CPR in Schools...remember our So Many Reasons campaign? We're now going to share the reasons with the Board of Regents - it's stories of real New Yorker impacted by sudden cardiac arrest and CPR. And we'll make it easy for you to send a message to the Board of Regents each week. It may be a simple email or a social media post. One minute each week - that's all. Will you commit to one minute each week to send a lifesaving message? Stay tuned...our first message will be coming soon!

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You're Invited: Join Us to Learn More About Advocacy

We have a special opportunity from the NC Alliance for Health (NCAH), our statewide coalition advocating for obesity prevention and tobacco control policy change. The American Heart Association is a proud member of the NCAH.

NC Alliance for Health Healthy Food Access Training

You are invited to an interactive training on combating obesity and other chronic diseases by increasing access to healthy foods. There will be a discussion of food insecurity in North Carolina, and the many different ways people around the state are working to increase access to healthier foods.

You will how you can help make a difference. Attendees will have an opportunity to sharpen their advocacy skills, and learn tips to be more effective with media and decision-maker advocacy.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Sarah Jacobson at sarah@ncallianceforhealth.org.

Thursday, November 20, 2014
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Forsyth County Health Department
799 N. Highland Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Lunch will be served!

Register here by Thursday, November 6!

PS: Don't forget to post pictures of what you see in your food environment on your favorite social media with the hash tag #healthyonthegoNC!

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South Dakota Should Teach CPR in Schools

Everyone should know CPR. Anyone 12 years and older has the physical strength to do CPR.  Ann Thompson wants all kids to learn CPR before they graduate from high school.  Her son, Adam, died at home from sudden cardiac arrest. It can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere.  Having more people trained in CPR will save lives.  CPR can double or even triple a victims chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.  See why Ann Thompson is encouraging all schools to teach CPR. For more on this story click HERE.  

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