Lisa’s CardioSmart – Let’s Send Her to San Francisco!

Lisa Sutton Cox with her son, Austin, and her daughter, Sara

Lisa Cox has always been one of my running inspirations. She has competed in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, the Boston Marathon, and many other running and multisport competitions. Over the years we have shared stories about the challenges of being working moms, about the heartbreak of losing family members to cancer, and many other things big and little. She doesn’t know this but I used to try to match her cadence at intervals. We are roughly the same height so by some (probably faulty) mental logic I thought if I could turn my feet over as fast as she did, I may be as fast as her. That never happened but she was always a consistent, strong athlete to model myself after.

As a survivor of sudden cardiac arrest brought on by undetected Coronary Artery Disease, she is now giving people in a much wider circle than the one we ran around and around during intervals an opportunity to become educated about this issue, to know how to save lives through CPR, and to know that life with Coronary Artery Disease is a lot more complicated than it is without CAD but can be just as (or more) fulfilling.

Lisa has an opportunity to tell her story in San Francisco as part of the CardioSmart Conference if she is one of six nominees to get the most “likes” or “comments” on her picture. If you don’t have time to read this whole post, please consider going to this link and clicking “like” or leaving a comment.

Voting ends at midnight EST on 12/3/12 so please take a moment to vote now!

If you do have time to keep reading, I think you will be as intrigued and inspired by Lisa’s story as I am. Here it is in her own words:

This past summer, I went for a run with my friends.  I went into sudden cardiac arrest – my heart stopped beating.  My friend, Jamie Harris, immediately began CPR.  Jamie saved my life.  Statistics show that only about 5% of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims live through the experience and I am one of them. 

My medical team found that I had 99.9% blockage in a main artery and 80% blockage in a second artery.  I had a double bypass.  Of the 9 risk factors listed by the American Heart Association, only 1 applies to me.  My one risk factor is heredity.  My father had a quadruple bypass at age 67 and 6 of my mother’s siblings had heart disease, for which they had bypass surgeries or died.

I have made changes in my diet, learned CPR and spoke out about my heart disease because I feel it is my responsibility to tell others so that people are aware that you can appear healthy and have undetected heart disease.  I hope that by enrolling in a PRE-DETERMINE study, the medical community can study my case and find information that will help others before they have an event like I did.  I am very grateful to have the love and support of my friends and family and to be here to enjoy more time with them.

Less than two months after her cardiac incident, Lisa (in red) won third place as a walker in the “Critter Run” in Dothan, Alabama. Jamie Harris (in the sunglasses) administered CPR to Lisa when she had Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Lisa’s support network has grown exponentially since her cardiac incident and subsequent   bypass surgery. Below, she is pictured with her cardiologist, Dr. Wayne Batchelor and Ann Brinkman Carstensen, Executive Director of the Alpha Phi Foundation.

Red Dress Gala 2012

To wrap things up, please take a moment to go to this link and “like,” comment, or share Lisa’s picture. If Lisa gets the most likes/comments/shares, she will have the opportunity to attend CardioSmart’s conference in San Francisco in 2013. Long after the votes have been counted, though, please keep in mind the fact that sometimes heart disease can lie silent. Visit Cardiosmart’s Heart Disease Risk Assessment Tool now to assess your own heart health!