Lindsay Davis dreamed of one day becoming a ballerina, but that all changed when her heart condition — hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – was accidentally discovered in the emergency room. Lindsay was only 17 when she learned this diagnosis and she shares that her condition was initially devastating to her. “I had to give up dance, and to be 100 percent honest, I mourned,” she says. “Not every condition that causes sudden cardiac arrest causes those limitations, but I did have to stop dancing because of the severity of my condition.” In addition to taking daily medication, Lindsay also has an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) that monitors her heart for irregular rhythms and other cardiac issues.
Her whole mindset changed after she was forced to give up dancing. She has since dedicated her life to saving student-athletes! She desires to give them the same opportunity that she has had. “I’ve been given a second life, and with this life, I want to change the status quo.”
Lindsay has achieved this in several ways. First was becoming Miss Ohio in 2011, using this platform to raise awareness on Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Next was the passing of “Lindsay’s Law”, with the help of Senator Cliff Hite and Simon's Heart (formerly known as Simon's Fund) into Ohio state legislature. She has also partnered with the AHA to pass a CPR mandate in all high schools across the country. “We’ve passed it in 34 states so far,” she says. “It requires CPR and AED [automated external defibrillator] training to be a requirement for high school graduation.”
Lindsay has previously written on these causes for USA Today, Sports Illustrated, and is associate editor of Open Heart BMJ.
But Lindsay’s efforts don’t stop there. Now she hopes to see the lives of many student-athletes saved through preventative heart screenings by joining the efforts of SafeBeat. “We need to get to these at-risk kids before they have sudden cardiac arrest. We need intervention that recognizes underlying heart conditions for what they are…”
Written by Lindsay:
- Sports Illustrated – Playing Prevent Defense – Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Student Athletes
- USA Today – Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a Preventable Epidemic
- USA Today – Make CPR Training a High School Graduation Requirement
- American Heart Association Magazine – Small Things With Great Love
- USA Today – More States add CPR Training in Schools, But National Requirement is Needed
- USA Today – Why Wisconsin Should Not Allow Chiropractors to Perform Sports Physicals
- USA Today – Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Begins with Education, Awareness
- Women’s Health Magazine: I wanted to be a ballerina until I realized I could die of sudden cardiac arrest