Sarah with her family

My name is Sarah, I am 55 years old, living in Saskatchewan, Canada.

On December 28th, 2018, I was attending the memorial service for my mother-in-law along with my immediate and a few extended family members.

I had just finished my tribute and was giving closing remarks. I went back to sit down beside my family, and without warning, my heart stopped.

Because I have some history of fainting, my husband didn’t realize what was going on at first, but very quickly realized that this was different.

My family members started CPR almost immediately, and my son ran outside to a neighboring business to get an AED as there was none in the building.

The AED was next door, but the business was closed and he wasn’t able access it.

The first responders were there within approximately 10 minutes and thankfully brought an AED with them, which they then used and were able to get a pulse.

I was intubated and brought into the hospital, where they then kept me in an induced comma for 48 hours. 

I awoke without neurological damage, which was a miracle, but had no recollection of what had happened.

I was diagnosed with left bundle branch block and mild cardiomyopathy.

After genetic testing, they have found this to be a genetic issue. 

I now have had an AED and Pacemaker implanted.

It has been over a year now, and I am grateful for life, for second chances. Without the quick responses from my family and first responders, I wouldn’t be here to tell my story today.

This event was not only extremely traumatic for myself, but for family as well. It has impacted us in many ways and we are still healing and learning how to cope with what happened.

No longer do we ever walk into a business or public place without looking for or noticing an AED.

We have donated funds to install an AED in local businesses, and continue to raise awareness about the importance of CPR and having an AED available for anyone, anywhere, 24 hours a day. I would like to see AED’s in cities and towns just like a fire extinguisher, where you would always have access to it if needed.

 My hope and prayer through this is all is that no other family will ever have to go through something like this.