Shelly Copeland

Save Date: March 4, 2008
Age at SCA: 33

I was able to celebrate my 33rd birthday on April 17, thanks to the quick emergency responses from several groups of people in Tampa, Florida in Hillsborough County. It all began on March 4, 2008. I am a 3rd grade teacher in the Hillsborough County School District in Tampa, Florida and I passed out in my classroom in front of my students and suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. As soon as this happened, one of my students jumped out of his seat and ran to the office to seek help. This prompted the school crisis team to spring into action and begin CPR and use an AED machine to restart my heart. Once the paramedics arrived at the scene, my heart stopped again in the ambulance and again in the emergency room. The doctors were able to put me in a hypothermia coma so I would not receive any brain damage. With the quick action of my student, the school crisis team, receiving 12 days of wonderful care at University Community Hospital, and a pacemaker/defibrillator implant, I am here today to share my miraculous story with others.