By Julie Montanaro
June 5, 2014
A Tallahassee woman collapsed during a run with friends and survives what doctors call "the widowmaker."
She says she wouldn't be here at all if it weren't for a friend who knew CPR.
They shared their story with us in hopes that others will take time to learn that life-saving skill.
Lisa Cox and Jamie Harris have a bond few share. They are friends and running buddies and Lisa says she has no doubt Jamie saved her life.
"I'm very very fortunate and grateful to her for that," Cox said.
Do you think you'd be sitting here talking to me without that CPR?
It happened two years ago almost to the day. Lisa - a 47 year old mother of two - was running three to five miles a day then. Jamie was running with her that evening. Cox stopped to get a drink of water at a neighbor's and that's when everything changed.
"I bent down to pet their dog and i felt faint and that's the last thing I remember," Cox said.
jamie harris, performed cpr
"I recognized that she wasn't breathing and I needed to start CPR," Harris said, "and that was that."
"They found that I had two blockages. A 99.9 percent blockage in one artery and 80 percent in the second," Cox said. She had surgery three days later.
Lisa jokes that she ran Escape from Alcatraz in 2010, the Boston Marathon in 2011 and had a double bypass in 2012.
It was the first time Jamie - a registered nurse - had ever performed CPR and ironically she had taken a refresher course just days earlier.
"I'm glad that I was there that day, really glad that I was there," Harris said.
"The statistics aren't very good for someone who doesn't have someone there to do CPR on them, so it's so important that we all know that life saving skill," Cox said.
Without immediate CPR, a person's chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest decreases up to 10% a minute.
That's why both women are urging folks to sign up for this weekend's "Press the Chest" event. It's a chance to learn CPR - for free - in one day.
It's this Saturday 6-7 from 10am to noon at the Al Lawson Center on FAMU's campus.
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