Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Online report highlights 2009-10 advocacy victories

The AHA Office of Advocacy’s first-ever online annual report highlights federal, state and local policy victories from the 2009-10 fiscal year. The report, “Progress in Policy,” summarizes the association’s work to advance legislative and regulatory issues including access to care, health reform, research and prevention funding, tobacco control, emergency cardiovascular care and stroke systems of care.

The articles, videos and photos in this interactive report offer just a snapshot of the remarkable work of our You’re the Cure advocates, volunteers and staff. We owe each of these successes to their tireless dedication and efforts.

See the report at

Monday, August 16, 2010

Live Better with Life's Simple 7

Did you know that the American Heart Association has developed a way to help you take control of your heart health?

All you need is a goal, a plan and a desire to live better. The American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 tool has seven steps you can take to improve your health. Visit and follow the link below to let your legislators know about this important tool:

Learn about the seven factors that can lead to a healthy heart and how you can:

-Get Active
-Eat Better
-Lose Weight
-Stop Smoking
-Control Cholesterol
-Manage Blood Pressure

These measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. This simple, seven step list has been developed to deliver on the hope we all have--to live a long, productive healthy life.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

6-year-old's life saved by an angel among us

Article from Lincoln Daily News at
(Pictured Ethan and EMT Brenda McCallister)

[August 07, 2010] ATLANTA -- July 8 was anything but a typical summer evening at the Atlanta Ballpark. Ethan Vose, 6 years old, son of Brad and Heather Melton Vose of Atlanta, was playing with local children when he was struck in the chest with a baseball bat. He immediately fell to the ground.

Brenda McCallister, an EMT who was watching a baseball game, went up to Ethan and found that he was in full cardiac arrest. As 911 was called, McCallister had to perform CPR on Ethan.
Ethan and EMT Brenda McCallister

He was transported by ambulance to BroMenn Trauma Center in Normal, then life-flighted to Children's Hospital at St. Francis in Peoria. He was diagnosed with commotio cordis.
Commotio cordis typically involves young, predominantly male athletes, in which a sudden, blunt, non-penetrating and innocuous-appearing trauma to the anterior chest results in immediate cardiac arrest and can lead to sudden death from ventricular fibrillation.
The most important information the Voses would like to share with others is that Ethan's life was saved by the immediate start of CPR.

Survival after a commotion cordis event is still the exception. So often bystanders or emergency personnel delay CPR and immediate transport to the hospital because they underestimate the severity of the trauma or believe "the person got the wind knocked out of them." It is imperative to understand that survival is associated with effective CPR efforts that occur within one to three minutes of the collapse of the individual, which was done in Ethan's case.

The survival rate with commotio cordis is only 3 percent in cases when resuscitative efforts were delayed longer than three minutes. The survival rate is only 24 percent after effective CPR. McCallister saved Ethan's life in two minutes.

The Voses would like to publicly thank Brenda McCallister for saving their son's life, as well as thanking the pediatric cardiologists, nurses and staff on the intermediate care wing at Children's Hospital at St. Francis for the exceptional care Ethan received. They also thank friends and family for their continued prayers and support.

The family hopes that by sharing their story it will save another child's life.
[From Heather Vose]