Lisa Herchenroether

SCA Date: 11/21/06

On November 21, 2006 my husband and eight year old son drove me to the hospital because I was experiencing mild chest discomfort. We were completely unaware that I was having a heart attack. En route, I went into Ventricle Fibrillation. In my son's own words, "I wasn't scared until I saw your head hit Daddy's shoulder, but then you started snoring." My husband, a former EMT knew the 'snoring'' sound I just made was actually my last gasp of air.

Thankfully, we were 200 yards from the emergency room doors and the hospital staff was able to bring me back with a defibrillator. The cause for my V-Fib was a blockage in the artery, originally thought to be a calcium blockage due to cholesterol, but since that night, now believed to be from a blood clot. I've since had a stroke in June 2007. We're still
working to find out what's going on with me exactly.

I was lucky I was right outside the ER doors that night instead of my son's school, where I typically volunteer 90% of my time. Schools in Naugatuck, CT were not equipped with AED's. So, I decided to turn a negative into a positive. Sherri Hopkins, R.N. and I have started a group in Naugatuck called the Naugatuck HeartSafe Org. We have more recently become a Chapter of SCAA. Our purpose is to educate parents and school staff on CPR/ AED/ ICD training.

We are also working to get AED's installed in every school and many public buildings through individual, corporate and community fundraising efforts, in order to reach our ultimate goal as a heart safe community. We've helped four schools in their fundraising efforts to obtain AED's, including the high school, which has three AED's alone. There are still nine schools to go(including the two parochial) but we're confident we'll get there.

I feel this has been a blessing in disguise for me, I am more grateful for the wonderful family & terrific friends I have been blessed with. I hope in some way to change the public view or lack there of, in the importance of AED's. Too many people, young and old alike, are at risk for SCA.


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