One spring morning in April, Lindsay Hayden, age 19, collapsed in her classroom with her heart beating 220 times per minute—two or three times the normal rate.
She was in grave danger.
Cameron Durand, her friend, acted fast. Cameron started CPR immediately. An AED shock was administered and her heart returned to a normal rhythm. The paramedics didn’t arrive until two minutes later.
“The paramedics said (that) without the AED I could have died,” said Lindsay.
SCA can happen at any age
Most people think that cardiac issues only happen to older adults.
“I never heard of it happening to people my age . You expect it to happen to someone older or less healthy,” said Lindsay. But since she had her SCA, Lindsay has met five or six other people her age who have experienced SCA and she has heard of many others.
Lindsay says doctors still don’t know what triggered her SCA. However after several tests, she learned that she has a condition called Long QT, a rare inherited heart rhythm disorder that can cause fast, erratic heart beats.
Lindsay pays it forward
Lindsay was lucky that there was an AED nearby and she is committed to others having the same good fortune. Working with the Lunger Foundation, Lindsay and her family have been advocates for AEDs in schools. Their efforts have paid off. Students at Stanley Lake High School, where Lindsay’s SCA occurred, now have three AEDs.