As promised, here is our first card regarding how YOU can become an everyday life-saver! First, everything we talk about here can be found in one of two (simple) locations: The American Heart Association www.heart.org and The American Red Cross www.redcross.org. Although some techniques and information may differ slightly - the differences are negligible and the end goal is the same...To provide you with current and viable tools which will allow you to save yourselves, a loved one, or stranger. Let's get started (with enthusiasm)!!
We'll start with some background, very important information which illustrates WHY this is such a heavy topic. I will try to streamline this as best I can so that you needn't be reading for days on end. The basic info regarding heart disease will give you an idea of why this kind of empowering knowledge is so necessary. No, wait...don't fall asleep yet - there's STILL more!
+ Approximately 600,000 people per year in the U.S. die from heart disease/coronary related incidents - That’s one in four deaths. Every year, approx. 715,000 Americans experience a heart attack. Heart Disease is also among the TOP THREE killers of people worldwide. + Over 80% of the world's deaths from heart disease/heart-related incidents occur in low and middle-income countries. + The top five countries with the highest rates of heart disease deaths are: Russia Bulgaria Romania Hungary Argentina + The top five countries with the lowest rates of heart disease deaths are: France Australia Switzerland Japan Israel
When it comes to gender, not all things are equal...
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and women are just as likely as men to have a heart attack, although their symptoms can differ vastly. Women are also least likely to seek help for themselves, despite the myth/notion that men are more anti-hospital. More women than men have died from heart disease each year for the past 30 years! And women are less likely than men to survive their first heart attack - estimated that approximately 50% of all female "first-time" cardiac patients won't survive the event. Further, over 1/3 of all coronary-related fatalities occur in young people. The incidence of death among both women and young people (40-) are due primarily to a lack of immediate care and a lack of awareness that heart disease comes in many different forms/types.
Now you know...
"Knowing is half the battle" (-GIJoe) Our next card will cover the Cardiac Chain Of Survival's first link: Early Recognition (of heart attack and stroke) and Early Access (to 911). All five links in the chain of survival are imperative for survival. Once we get past recognizing the signs that someone needs a hero (YOU), we will jump right in to CPR!
Ask enough people, listen to enough stories, and you will realize that everyone has been touched by Heart Disease or Stroke - the statistics alone tell us that. Let's remember though - numbers are people. They have families who love them, goals, and ambitions. I am a number. To decrease the myriad of negative statistics on heart/stroke related events and fatalities, the goal is to train one family member per household. Lofty...daunting...but doable (one super hero at a time)! Although I was an active Firefighter at the time I became a heart patient, it was difficult for me to get the care I needed. Had I not been so well-trained in the techniques I'll outline in the following cards, I would not have survived those first few days in late December (more about this next time).
This is me with my best friend Liz, just 10 hours after my last chest-wall reconstruction back in June (2015) to fix my "sternal fixation plating system". This is the first time I've ever woken up without a ventilator and without chest-tubes because "things went better than expected". It was an Earth-shaker, I was that elated! Even though my face is so swollen that I hardly recognize myself, and barring that I was high on a CRAP-TON of morphine, I LOVE THIS pic...I feel it perfectly expresses my sheer joy at having woken without all the tubes! *huge smiles*
Day 10 PostOp, 6/22/2015 - At home. My hubby, "R" brushed and pinned my hair back, just the way I like it. Started to feel human again...
Day 30 PostOp, 7/23/2015 - Bandage gone (I took this for my mom who lives in Chicago - this was the first time I had gone through a surgery without her and it was traumatic for both of us). I share these because I am so humbled that you all are allowing me to share so openly with you...and I can't thank you enough for reading! Please feel free to message me if you have any questions, or if you just want to say hi! (To @allischaaff @TessStevens @nicolejb @ShannonI5 @danidee @MissB82 -thanks for the encouragement, XO!)