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New to HEARTORG Forum

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New to HEARTORG Forum

Post by Jeff Blakeman on Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:57 pm


I am Jeff, 49 years old, living in Olathe Kansas. I’ve got a wonderful wife of almost 29 years and two daughters (23 and 19). On September 22, 2013, one month shy of my 48th birthday and while running in the Quad Cities Marathon in Moline, Illinois, I suffered SCA due to a blocked LAD. Thanks to Bruce Segall for reaching out to me and inviting me to this forum.

The Quad Cities Marathon was my 6th marathon, and I was shooting to run 3:22 in order to be under the 3:25 Boston qualifying time I needed. All my training leading up to this marathon had me well prepared for this challenge. As my Garmin would reveal, my marathon that day was going just as I had planned up thru mile 19.5. At mile 19.7 all things came to a halt as I suffered SCA and went down. I have no recollection of my SCA event or of the last few minutes leading up to it, although I was later told that I was running up to the time I went down. I was extremely blessed that two bystanders along with two fellow runners (a nurse and a doctor) immediately came to my rescue and began CPR and continued for a number of minutes until EMS arrived. EMS personnel worked on me and with a defibrillator were able to get my heart beating. Within a couple hours of the event a stent had been placed in my LAD to open up the blockage.

Cardiac rehab began a couple weeks later and I completed that phase in early January 2014. I’ve had two nuclear stress test (Dec. ’13 and Dec. ’14) along with other exams and I’ve been told all looks good with the rest of my system. My cardiologist recommends I back off on the mileage (3-4 max) and also on the intensity of which I was training and running.

I’ve been able to back off on the pace when running but I struggle with holding the mileage down to the 3-4 miles per run as recommended. Throughout 2014 I continued running and gradually increased my mileage to where my typical runs are 5-6 miles multiple times a week at a comfortable pace, all while generally keeping my HR under 145 bpm. On September 28, 2014, I returned to the Quad Cities Marathon to pick up where I left off in 2013. Starting at the same point and same time as when I collapsed, I finished the remaining 6.5 miles of the marathon running alongside my daughter (a nurse) and the coach of our running organization. What a great feeling that finish was! In early April this year I completed my first ½ marathon post SCA, and just last weekend I completed my second ½ marathon. The goals of new PR’s as usually measured by fast finish times have now been set aside. I now run to keep active, maintain friendships with running buddies, and for the enjoyment I get from participating in the events.

I look forward to getting to know the folks on this forum, to hear of the experiences you all have had, and to learn how we as cardiac event survivors can continue to pursue our passions.
Jeff Blakeman

Posts : 1
Join date : 2015-06-11
Age : 51
Location : Olathe Kansas

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Re: New to HEARTORG Forum

Post by Dave Tuttle on Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:27 am

Hello and welcome to HEART Jeff! You have an amazing story there and some amazing good fortune as well... What a great way to celebrate your survival and return to running. That had to be special!! It sounds like you have things pretty well sorted out now and are making the most of it with a new outlook and that's great!

Like you I was relatively young, in my mid 40s when CAD nearly killed me... Even with some limitations we're lucky ones! 15 bonus years for me so far  Very Happy

I'm glad you found us here Jeff (thanks Bruce). We would love to meet you in person if you can make it to our annual gathering in Shepherdstown this fall!

4X CABG Feb 17, 1999 at 46 years.
Dave Tuttle

Posts : 906
Join date : 2013-04-01
Location : Western New York State

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Re: New to HEARTORG Forum

Post by Rachel August on Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:57 pm

Hey - welcome Jeff!!!!

What a great come-back!!! So happy you're back at it!

Hope you're able to join us in WV this October!!!

OHS - July 15, 2011
Aortic Valve Replacement (Edwards 3300TFX) and Ascending Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Rachel August

Posts : 612
Join date : 2013-04-15

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Re: New to HEARTORG Forum

Post by RoadKillBill on Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:24 pm

Welcome, Jeff! The LAD block is certainly scary stuff; so glad to hear that you were surrounded by knowledgeable people when you had your SCA. We know others who have had similar experience and have been able to resume long distance running with their Drs' blessings. I hope you continue to make progress in your recovery. Please consider the annual HEART event in October. I've been to a few of these and they're wonderful events.

Mitral valve repair 2002
Cleveland Clinic

Posts : 319
Join date : 2013-04-04

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Re: New to HEARTORG Forum

Post by trishb on Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:34 pm

Welcome Jeff!

Great to have you here!  

And even better to have you still on this side of the dirt.   cheers

pacemaker, recurrent pericarditis , SVT
03/23/15:  Weight 129.1 - Body Fat 31%
07/23/15:  Weight 117 - Body Fat 19.0%

Posts : 215
Join date : 2013-04-02
Age : 62
Location : Holden Beach, NC

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Re: New to HEARTORG Forum

Post by twal on Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:15 am

Glad you found our group. Hopefully, you can join us in West Virginia this fall.

Mitral valve repair
Afib, arrhythmia
2 catheter ablations

Posts : 307
Join date : 2013-04-15
Age : 66
Location : Nanticoke, PA, USA

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Re: New to HEARTORG Forum

Post by Bean Counter on Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:18 am

Congratulations! Being able to race in a different country is a very cool experience. In regards to your PF, I have only twice in my life and both times a chiropractor was able to get in there and get it fixed up. Maybe something worth looking into.
Bean Counter

Posts : 48
Join date : 2013-10-05

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Re: New to HEARTORG Forum

Post by LMRun on Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:59 am

Welcome to HEART.

AVR November 14, 2007
Aortic Root dacron graft

23 mm On-X Mechanical Heart Valve
Home Test INR since February, 2008 Smile

Posts : 162
Join date : 2014-12-31

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Re: New to HEARTORG Forum

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