May 8, 2013 started out like any other day. I got up, felt fine, went to work and spent my lunch hour at the mall shopping with a friend. I had a 1 p.m. meeting with a colleague and that's where it happened; I experienced sudden cardiac arrest.
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I don't remember it happening, but I'm told I grabbed my head and then collapsed. Fortunately for me, my colleague knew CPR. He started chest compressions and shouted for someone to call 911. My place of employment was equipped with AEDs and employees had been trained in how to use them. I was shocked twice before the paramedics arrived. I was taken to the hospital and was in a coma for a few days. The doctor had no idea what caused my sudden cardiac arrest because I had no symptoms and no warning signs. I was healthy and exercised regularly. I didn't have any blockages, didn't have high cholesterol, didn't smoke, and didn't have any diagnosed heart disease and no family history of heart disease. My family had no idea if I would come out of the coma, and if I did, if I would have any brain damage. I was in the right place at the right time. The combination of CPR and the use of an AED saved my life. Sudden cardiac arrest is just that -- sudden -- so it is vitally important to be prepared by knowing CPR and having AEDs in public facilities and people trained to use the. So learn CPR, even Hands-Only CPR. You will never regret knowing how to save a life!