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Advocate Spotlight: Melanie Baldwin

On June 15, 2013, I suffered a Cardiac Arrest while helping my husband hang a picture.  I turned blue and collapsed right next to my husband who immediately took action and performed Hands Only CPR while on the phone with 911.  He took a few seconds to grab his phone and unlock the front door and then he performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.

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We live very close to a hospital and a Fire Station which is right next door.  They arrived in under 4 minutes and took charge of the situation.  They continued life saving measures including shocking me 8 times without success.  I was placed on the CPR Assist Device while they transferred me to the emergency room at the hospital about a mile away. 

I was later told that they were ready to call time of death in the Emergency Room as I had been without a heartbeat for about 45 minutes, but I survived!  After 10 days of intensive treatment, I walked out of the hospital. It was a slow recovery and continued months after I left the hospital. 

Although I have had 5 open heart surgeries and heart problems are certainly not new to me, this was a very unexpected and scary situation for me and my family.  A few months later my pacemaker was upgraded to an automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) so if a cardiac arrest happens again, I have my own internal shocking device. Which it did one afternoon in August of 2016 and saved my life.

I’m grateful every day for the technological advances that have kept me alive and for my husband who saved me by knowing CPR.  Imagine if someone you loved needed your help, would you know what to do? If not, please click here to learn Hands Only CPR! You never know when a cardiac emergency could hit your family. For more of my story, please visit here.

I have been involved with the Advocacy team here in Nevada and I’m proud to play a role in passing Assembly Bill 85 which will ensure that all high school students in Nevada learn Hands Only CPR skills prior to graduation. Knowing how to respond in cardiac emergencies is extremely dear to my heart and I’m so happy that this legislation will put thousands of trained lifesavers in our communities every year.

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