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Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness

17%
$417.60
Raised
$2,500.00
Goal!

Start: Jun 16, 2018 - End: Feb 10, 2019

My Journey Continues…

As I write this, I am 7 months old. I was informed that I have two birthdays now, one when my mother gave birth to me and the other is when God gave me heros and technology to bring me back to life.

This past weekend I met a group of people that welcomed me with open arms. They found out “what I was” and congratulated me and hugged me and called me a miracle. I didn’t know what to do so I hugged them back, said “thank you” and cried, a lot. I felt like I belonged with them. The energy of our hearts connected us all (and all of us have a pacemaker/ICD…so LOTS of potential electricity). This group of people are the SURVIVORS of sudden cardiac arrest. I am going to join in the monthly meetings and continued education of CPR and AED. They have support groups for family and friends, they have friendships, they have something in common with me. I now belong to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Survivors Network. You can become members too, family and friends encouraged.

February is HEART month, fitting because everything in February is full of love and hearts and even arrows because of Valentines day. I used to not like Valentines day, but this year I changed my mind. I love the hearts, I love the arrows, I love the “I love you’s”, I love the LOVE! I also love supporting the American Heart Association (AHA)-which celebrates in so many ways in the month of February. This is how I met my survivor network. The boys, Bravo included, went to the Mall of America on Saturday to visit the AHA and practice CPR with the boys. Jack and I had our One Mission heart/be brave shirts on, learning CPR from Eugene and Natasha came over and asked about our shirts. She LOVED them. Jack proudly said “My mom had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest”.

American Heart Association is having its annual TWIN CITIES HEART WALK on May 5th in Minneapolis. I want to continue to raise money to give back to them. More importantly, I want YOU to walk with me. Together we can live a heart healthy life and continue to become healthy!! We will not only raise funds, but raise heartbeats!!

BE BRAVE HEART shirts will be available again!! These shirts sparked a conversation that led me to the survivors network. These shirts are bringing awareness to SCA and the importance of CPR and early defibrillation. They are empowering people to BE BRAVE. They are getting people talking, asking questions, sharing…they are perfect!!

Help me in continuing to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, the importance of CPR and early defibrillation and my ongoing mission to be heart healthy!!! All proceeds will be given to my HEART WALK TEAM to support the American Heart Association!!!

Fund Leader: Alicia Bravo
Fund Type: Medical Causes

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My journey begins….

I am strong. I am resilient. I am determined. I am thankful. I am fierce. I am compassionate. I am a SURVIOR.


The story I am about to tell was told to me by my family. I don’t remember any of it. I just remember waking up alive.


July 1st I went for a swim in Lake Ripley, the lake I grew up on in Cambridge, WI. My plan that morning was going to swim across the lake as I was training for another triathlon, a recent sport I fell in love with. My dad, sister, brother in law were going to trail me in my dads boat. About 5 minutes into the swim I asked for help. As my dad threw me a floatation device and I didn’t’ reach for it, he knew I was in trouble. My BRAVE sister quickly dove in to get me. She got to me when I whispered the words “breathe” twice before I went limp. My dad used his super powers along with my brother in law and pulled my lifeless body into the boat, palpating for a pulse but was unable to locate one. My dad, my hero, knew CPR…so he IMMEDIATLY started compressing on my/his daughters chest, pumping oxygenated blood through my body. He also gave me life saving breaths between compressing my chest. My sister drove the boat quickly back to shore while screaming to call 911.


Two phone calls were made, one by my husband Mike, who was on the dock fishing with my 5 year old son, the other by my brother in law Kelly. My parents neighbor heard the call, as he is a first responder with the Cambridge EMS, and ran down to the lake to help. The local boat police also arrived quickly. With this team of first responders and my family, they continued to give by lifeless body CPR and oxygen filled breaths.


Approximately 10-15 minutes later, the Cambridge Area EMS arrived and took over. They hooked me up to the manual chest compression device called the LUCAS, placed me on a backboard and carried me up the steep stairs to land. It was then they placed a defibrillator and shocked me out of ventricular fibrillation into a normal rhythm. I still was unaware of any of this.


I was brought to St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, WI and placed on life support while my body was put into hypothermia to preserve/heal my brain function. No one knew what to expect when I woke up. Approximately 36 hours later I started to wake defeating the odds and boy was I mad (so they tell me).


I was back. I was okay. I was strong. I was determined. I was fighting. I was a SURVIVOR.


My first memory was waking up and was so mad and FREEZING. My next memory was being alive and okay. I somehow remembered what happened, probably because I asked my family a million times, and was ready to start my life up again. I felt really good, except for a very sore chest and back. I asked when I could start training again…I was told to HOLD ON!!


I had amazing care in Madison and can’t thank them enough. So far my heart tests came back perfect; they suspect an electrical misfiring. I had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) with pacemaker placed on July 6th. I am awaiting my genetic testing to come back for further pieces to this puzzle.


So far, I have done everything my physicians and family have told me to do, trying to push every boundary to get back to who I once was. Until I realized, I will never be that person. I am stronger now, I am more patient, I am part robot, I am even more determined and the fire inside me burns even stronger. I love the new me.


As a result of this experience, I want to shine a light and give back to my army of life savers placed path to respond to me July 1. I want my story and the quick action of my heroes trained in life support to be an example that saves another life. I want EVERYONE to know how to do CPR and use an AED. I want everyone to be CONFIDENT they can perform this lifesaving act. I want lives saved. I want more SURVIVORS. Surrounding yourself with friends and family trained in basic life support (BLS) needs to be trending and celebrated!


Please join me in Phase I of my newfound mission as we raise money for my Cambridge EMS heroes. Last year I was the top female finisher in my age group for Cambridge’s annual Cannonball Run. Proceeds from the 2016 race allowed the EMS department purchased the LUCAS machine used in my rescue. The Cambridge Area EMS has sophisticated planned upgrades and with your support, this thankful girl wants to impact this list lifesaving purchases. Will you join me in this effort?


BE BRAVE. LEARN CPR. SAVE A LIFE.


Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Discussion:

One Comment

Dale Lash says:

Alicia and Mike,
Thank you so much for coming to the MedFlight Conference at the Kalahari. You both were spectacular! I have posted this to my facebook page to attempt to get you more funds.
As an AHA instructor and EMT I know how important it is to know CPR.
Thanks again!

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