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When I think about where I was when my cardiac arrest happened, it confirms my belief that everything happens for a reason.

I had been running on a very regular basis for about 5 years. Leading up to my cardiac arrest on November 7, 2012 I was training for the Seattle Marathon. Just a few short weeks before, I was alone in the wilderness of the Cascade Mountains on a 21-mile loop. If my cardiac arrest had happened during that run, my story would have had a very different outcome.

I find it a little bit funny to be the one writing about my experience because I don’t actually remember any of it. But, through those who were there, I have been able to put together the puzzle pieces and the events that took place.

After work that fateful day I met my dad and my friend for a training run in Seattle. During our run, we made one trip up a steep stair climb and back down. On the second trip up, I had to sit down at the base of the stairs because I was so tired. It so happened that an off-duty firefighter in training was out for an evening walk. He saw me sitting there and he stopped to check on me. Then I stopped responding. He immediately began CPR and instructed to call 911. An emergency response team came and 8 individuals worked to keep me alive.

Miraculously they saved my life.

When I think about this, I worry mostly about my dad. It must be unimaginable to watch your daughter go through what I did. But he says the absolute skill and professionalism of the first responders was actually calming and he knew everything was being done to save me.

It still has not been determined why this happened to me, and I don’t know that I will ever know the exact cause. I had no previous signs of heart problems and there is no history in my family. It still seems surreal and I can’t believe that every piece of the puzzle fit so perfectly together that evening to enable me to be here to tell my story. I am so incredibly grateful for my good Samaritan and the emergency response team.

You never know if you might be in a position to be a life saving good Samaritan. The Hope Heart Institute can prepare you. The Hope Heart Institute provides education and resources to help prevent cardiovascular disease, and delivers Hands-Only CPR training so individuals can respond in the event of a cardiac emergency.

Please support the important work of The Hope by making a heartfelt donation. Your gift today can give someone like me the gift of a tomorrow.

Thank you from a very grateful heart,

Alexis Curran

Survivor

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