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For TJ Haynes it was a matter of time. TJ recently threw out the first pitch at a Mustangs game in Dehler Park to promote the AHA’s Raise the Roof in Red campaign after suffering a heart attack just a few months before.

On May 25, 2015 TJ had gone to the local shooting range in preparation for the annual Quigley Buffalo Match. The days leading up to the 25th he had experienced heartburn and back pain but didn’t think much of it. But after a short period of time at the range he found himself short of breath and in pain.

He called his wife to tell her he wasn’t feeling well and asked her to come pick him up. While he waited another shooter at the range noticed his condition and quickly dialed 911 when he told them he was short of breath and experiencing chest pain.

Thanks to the quick actions of those around him TJ was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance containing a 12 lead EKG machine that sent a snapshot of his heart ahead to the Billings clinic. By sending this snapshot ahead the hospital was able to know what they were dealing with and how to treat it as soon as he arrived. This allowed his clogged artery to be opened just 46 minutes from the onset of the attack.

This amazing equipment had been installed just one day earlier as part of the Mission Lifeline initiative that is largely funded by a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Today TJ is doing much better. He is in cardiac rehab, is working on his diet and is overall doing well.

TJ is thankful for the actions of those around him and the technology that was available to help him when he needed it most.

 

Our 2015-16 Georgia Advocacy Committee is composed of 12 individuals from across the state with different occupations, who have a great interest in advocating for policy change for heart-health issues. Throughout the year, we will introduce some of our members. Today, we'd like you to meet long time volunteer, Kimberly Goodloe of Atlanta.

Occupation: American Heart Association Advocate Hero and Volunteer

How long have you been a volunteer with the AHA and in what capacity? Since, May 2010.

[Volunteer Advocacy Resume]

May 2010:  American Heart Association ( volunteer)

November 2011:  Go  Red For Women Passion Committee Member

2013:  You’re The Cure Advocate

October 2013 :  Georgia Advocacy Subcommittee Member

January 2014 & 2015 :  ML KING Celebration/United Ebony Society; Health Fair Coordinator  :  Lawrenceville, Georgia

July  2015:  National Volunteer Ambassador; American Heart Association’s Heart Valve Disease Program

July 2015: Community Champion:  American Heart Association Heart Walk  Committee

July 2015:  Vice Chair:  Georgia Advocacy Subcommittee Member

Who or what inspires you to help and volunteer your time to the work of the American Heart Association?  I love to encourage heart/stroke patients and their caregivers by sharing my story of survival  from three  surgeries because so many people are suffering in silence.

What heart healthy issue is most important to you and why?  Staying Active: it’s good for my heart.

What are two ways you keep yourself healthy?  Making healthy food choices & exercising

How is your community healthy that makes you proud?  Smoke free air,  beautiful community parks, many sidewalks, and bike lanes

How do you stay updated on current public policies in your state?  By responding to the You’re The Cure Alerts  & reading valuable information posted on the You’re The Cure & American Herat Association website(s)

If you could help advocate for one change in your state, what would it be and why?   Advocate for the uninsured; because so many people are in need of affordable  healthcare in our state.

Do you have a favorite American Heart Association/American Stroke Association event you annually attend?  What is your motivation to participate?  I love attending the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon , Go Red Lobby Day at the Georgia State Capitol and Metro Atlanta  Heart Walk. During Lobby Day, I am given the opportunity to share my journey and health care topics with state lawmakers. At the luncheon, I enjoy the great food, fun and fellowship with other volunteers, survivors and staff.  I enjoy the Heart Walk because I love raising funds to support medical research and walk in honor of every family affected by heart disease and stroke.

Have you attended a state or federal lobby day on behalf of the AHA?  If so, please briefly explain your experience. Yes, I traveled to Washington D.C. in April 2013.  I attended the Medical Rally and American Heart Association You’re The Cure Lobby Day.  It was such a pleasure to attend the rally and meet with the various state lawmakers. Sharing my heart journey and using my voice to advocate for the uninsured patients throughout the state of Georgia brings me great satisfaction.

What have you learned in your time being a You’re the Cure advocate?  It’s important ( as an heart disease survivor) to use my voice, gift of service to help empower the community.

Why would you tell a friend or family member to join You’re the Cure?  To learn more about public policy and encourage them to become educated in all the wonderful things the American Heart Association is involved in for healthy changes not only in Georgia, but across the nation.

Tell us one unique thing about yourself.  Despite my daily health obstacles,  I keep moving forward helping the community live a happier, healthier, lifestyle.

This month our Advocate Spotlight story features Tina Lakey of Madison.  Tina currently serves as the chairwoman for the Circle of Red Committee in the Metro Jackson area. Circle of Red is a society of women who have the passion, the motivation and inspiration to drive and influence change in the community regarding heart health of women in their community and across the country.

Occupation: District Director, CenterPoint Energy

How long have you been a volunteer with the American Heart Association and in what capacity?  I have been an engaged volunteer over the past several years, and last year I became a member of Circle of Red. This year, I am serving as the chairwoman of Circle of Red. I have served on the Executive Leadership Team for Go Red for Women for the the past 2 years.

Who or what inspires you to help and volunteer your time to the work of the American Heart Association?  My husband had a stroke 24 years ago and this made us painfully aware of what can happen when we do not take care of our bodies. We did try to exercise and eat healthy, but probably should have done more.  Now, since I have learned so much through volunteering, I want to not only make sure my family is making healthy choices, but I want help get the word out in our communities of the importance of making sure everyone chooses a healthy lifestyle.

What heart healthy issue is most important to you and why?  Stroke Awareness-my husband suffered a stroke at the age of 31.

What are two ways you keep yourself healthy? Exercise and eating right.

How is your community healthy that makes you proud?  Over the past several years, many new fitness centers have opened in our city, giving more opportunity for residents to make sure we are working out and exercising to keep our bodies fit.

How do you stay updated on current public policies in your state? American Heart Association bulletins, going online and searching information.  Also, I receive informational emails from the Metro Jackson American Heart Association staff.

If you could help advocate for one change in your state, what would it be and why? Our schools and work places make healthy choices by what they allow in vending machines

Do you have a favorite American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association event you annually attend?  What is your motivation to participate? Go Red For Women….working with a group of dynamic men and women who see the value in educating our communities on what we need to do ‘kill’ heart disease!

Have you attended a state or federal lobby day on behalf of the American Heart Association?  If so, please briefly explain your experience.  I have not, but would like to.

What have you learned in your time being a You’re the Cure advocate?  The absolute importance of being aware, staying updated, and making others aware of the importance of making the right choices when it comes to getting checkups, eating right and exercising.

Why would you tell a friend or family member to join You’re the Cure?  To help save their life!

Tell us one unique thing about yourselfI love to write.  I am in the process of writing a children’s book on bullying.

Guest Blogger: Tina Lakey, pictured far right accepting the National Wear Red Day Proclamation at the Mississippi State Capitol in February.