My name is Heather Dawkins and I’m 47 years old. I’ve been married to my husband for 26 years and we have 2 adult daughters. I'm so grateful to be able to share my story with you.
I’m fit. I’m health conscious. I exercise 5 days a week. I was in the best physical shape of my life.
On December the 8th, 2020, at the age of 46, I collapsed. I stopped breathing and had what they thought was a seizure while working out. I turned bluish gray/white. And then....God breathed life back into me. I am told that I took a loud deep breath and then began having what appeared to be a seizure. I was not aware of any of the events that happened.
Later, after many tests and procedures, we discovered that it was not a seizure. It was actually my brain restarting. That was a true miracle. No CPR or external defibrillator (AED) was used at that time. However, I’m happy to say that my gym does have an AED on site! That’s something that all places of businesses should have.
Then, on January 15th my heart went into the “death rhythm” during an EP study of my heart. I was shocked with a defibrillator while on the table. I survived again. A decision was made at that time to have an ICD placed in my body.
Without this ICD that was placed in me on January 15th, I might not survive the next time. The percentage of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest is very low.
It made no sense to me how I was so healthy and in shape one minute and then the next second I wasn’t. I later found out that I have the genetic markers for sudden cardiac death/arrests. I also had 11,000 extra heartbeats (PVC’s) a day. I’d never been to a cardiologist in my life. I thought it was normal to feel my heart beating and pounding. I thought it was normal to feel tired all of the time.
A screening like the one that SafeBeat performs could have picked up on my heart issues a lot sooner.
When you hear of adults, kids and athletes that just drop dead suddenly (sudden cardiac death)...that is what happened to me not once, but twice.
I’ll never stop giving glory to my God for saving me. I’m a real live walking miracle. I intend on using this gift of life to bring HIM glory and spread hope to others. ~Heather