Survivor & volunteer extraordinaire Dave McKissock’s story is one that is truly remarkable and has resulted in his passion for advocacy.
hero_image_alt_text===Dave McKissock sitting on fire engine
He didn’t know what had truly happened until years later, when paramedics shared with him that they had to shock him twice while continuing CPR after he collapsed riding his bicycle through his neighborhood. It had taken the paramedics 6 minutes to get there once the 911 call was made – and in the meantime, two people stopped and started CPR before emergency responders took over. He faced a long recovery due to a “widow maker” heart attack that came without warning.
Sadly, Dave’s story is not that unusual: he was healthy, he exercised, he visited his doctor regularly. Despite that, his recovery has been long and arduous, including physical, occupational and speech therapy because during his attack, he also experienced an acquired brain injury due to a significant lack of oxygen. His recovery, including a week-long coma and the process of cooling down his body, was nothing short of miraculous.
Dave’s passion for making a difference is clear as he shares his story. After attending an advocacy training at the American Heart Association (AHA) Baltimore office, Dave’s interest in building healthier communities grew exponentially. He went on to attend the Maryland State Lobby Day and participate in the Hard Hats for Hearts event at M&T stadium. Dave makes himself available for opportunities to give back to the AHA and his community, making him one of his state’s most active volunteers.
If you ask Dave his Why, he tells you: “I was healthy, exercised regularly, had recently seen my physician, and there were no signs that my artery was blocked. There were just no clues I would experience a widow maker heart attack. I need to spread awareness for people to get checked at an earlier age for heart disease.” Prevention is key to ensuring more people are educated about their health risks. Dave will tell you that advocacy is important because with it you are able to share your personal story, which could ultimately help save lives.
You can learn more about heart attacks on our website.
Want to learn more about how you can make a difference in your community, now that you are an advocate with You’re the Cure? Contact Kim Chidester!