AUSTIN, Texas, October 16, 2023 –National Restart a Heart Day is more than just a day to Christi Hesson, it is another reason to celebrate life. While out walking the dog, Hesson had a sudden cardiac arrest, falling unconscious on the walking path in her neighborhood. Thankfully, a neighbor found her, called 911, got help and started CPR until local EMS arrived.
Because of CPR, paramedics were able to revive Christi with an AED and, despite going approximately 8 minutes before EMS arrived, Christi suffered no neurological complications because of the intervention.
In April, Christi will celebrate 20 years since that day and her family credits CPR, AEDs and first responders for her survival. “There’s no doubt in my mind the heroics of first responders, CPR training, the availability of AEDs and the advancements in heart treatment partially funded by the American Heart Association led to the awesome outcome for my mom,” said Shane Hesson, Principal at Endeavor Real Estate. “My family will be forever grateful as the positive outcome of this event changed the trajectory of my life.”
With nearly 3 out of 4 cardiac arrests outside of the hospital occurring in homes, knowing how to perform CPR is critically important. The recently launched Nation of Lifesavers™ effort works to improve the survival rate for the more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year.
In the event of a cardiac arrest, immediate action is needed to save the person’s life. Less than half of all people who experience cardiac arrest receive CPR before emergency personnel arrive. CPR, especially if performed immediately, could double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association.
Since then, Christi, Shane and the entire Hesson family have been devoted to making sure others have the same chance at survival. The Hesson’s have resourced schools with CPR in Schools kits and continue to be a vital part of raising lifesaving funds to support research and outreach through the American Heart Association.
The Association is committed to turning a nation of bystanders into lifesavers through a variety of initiatives aimed at youth sports, policy change, schools, community outreach and corporate engagement. The long-term goal: to ensure that in the face of a cardiac emergency, everyone, everywhere is prepared and empowered to perform CPR and become a vital link in the chain of survival. The Association encourages everyone, regardless of where they live, to take 90 seconds to learn how to save a life now at www.heart.org/nation.