Kat McCatherine
St. Cloud, MN

It was a quiet night at home watching TV with her adult daughter and sister when Kat’s, age 50, heart stopped. They suddenly realized that Kat had stopped responding to conversation and was not breathing. They began CPR, with one giving breaths while the other did chest compressions, and called 911.

The St. Cloud police and fire responded and continued CPR with an impedance threshold device and used an AED to shock Kat’s heart. Resuscitation efforts continued in the ambulance. At the hospital, Kat was given therapeutic hypothermia. Shortly after being warmed, she was talking on the phone with friends.

Kat is once again a lively mother and grandmother. When her daughter and sister were asked where they learned CPR, they responded, “On ER.”

Garry Frankel
Winnepeg, Manitoba

Garry was visiting Minnesota in 2009 because he was volunteering as a photographer at the National Sports Center in Blaine. That night he and his wife were sleeping in a hotel room in Fridley when his wife woke to hear Garry take his last breath. She immediately called the front desk where the two security guards who had just completed CPR training were ready to respond. The two of them began CPR within minutes.

The Fridley Fire Department responded and began advanced life-saving and used 30 shocks from an AED before his heart was restarted. Garry received therapeutic hypothermic treatment and later had an ICD implanted.

Garry felt that he was in the right place for his save. Garry himself had been through Advanced Lifesaving training in the Twin Cities in the 1970s and later was the first CPR instructor in Manitoba.

Natasha Fleischman
Lake Elmo, MN

In 2002, Natasha was a 33-year old mother of two and a program coordinator for the in the St. Paul Public Schools. She dropped the children off at the babysitter on, said goodbye to her husband and went in to work for a lunch meeting. Shortly after the meeting started, she collapsed. She wasn’t breathing. One of her colleagues stayed with her while the other ran for help.

After several minutes, the St. Paul Schools’ Director of Safety and Security ran into the room and began CPR. 911 was called. The St. Paul Fire Department arrived and defibrillated her 5 times before restarting her heart. At the hospital, her family began the longest wait of their lives as they waited to see if she would live and, if she did live, would she be the fully functioning woman they knew and loved.

She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and was told that she had survived sudden cardiac death. On medications and with an implanted defibrillator, she has miraculously recovered enough heart function to be considered fully in the “normal” range. She has dedicated herself to helping others facing diagnoses of heart disease through WomenHeart and the National Coalition of Women with Heart Disease (www.womenheart.org).