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Share Your Story: Gene Johnson

by Anne S. on Monday, February 9, 2015

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 water when my wife found me and called 911. The police picked up on the call and were only a few blocks away with a defibrillator. They were at my side in 3 minutes and shocked me two times before the ambulance arrived. I was taken to a nearby hospital where I had a quadruple bypass. I spent nice 9 days in the hospital...fully recovered after ten years. I changed my diet and exercise and am living a wonderful life!

Before my heart event, I worked hard to place AED’s in the community of New Brighton, Minn. and train people to use them. Little did I know that this work would save my life one day. As a result of that incident I have helped to place many more AEDs in police cars and emergency vehicles in the community.   My neighbors and the rest of the community have even organized the "Have a Heart Walk" to raise funds for the city to buy more defibrillators!

I also became one of the founders of the Minnesota Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors group, which provides support and information to other sudden cardiac arrest survivors. I love being a strong advocate for CPR and AED training, providing instruction to hundreds of people each year and speaking to thousands more to raise awareness. I was very fortunate and excited to work closely on the CPR in Schools bill in Minnesota that passed in 2011.

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  • Thank you for your support for cardiovascular disease.

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