In April 2012, Tracy Hjelle’s world turned upside down. The 42 year old coaches women’s softball for Luther college. One morning, the team was boarding a bus to head to Wisconsin when Tracy unexpectedly fell to the ground. Head Trainer Kris Agena, catcher Kelsey Kittleson, and outfielder Shari Huber, were quick to perform CPR. A nearby AED at the college was brought over and recovered Tracy’s heart back to a normal rhythm. Tracy miraculously survived and became diagnosed with spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD).
Tracy is a lucky survivor because she got the help she needed within minutes. The three women who performed CPR right away, increased Tracy’s chances of surviving immensely. Having the AED on campus gave Tracy the help she needed before waiting crucial minutes for Emergency Responders to arrive.
Imagine getting the news that one of your family members suffered from SCAD or sudden cardiac arrest. Think Safe’s very own President and CEO, Paula Wickham, is actually Tracy Hjelle’s cousin. Tracy is living proof that a sudden heart attack can happen to anyone!
Tracy’s story proves that people should be educated and trained in CPR. Along with that, making sure AEDs are located in public venues. People must be prepared because when an unexpected surprise like Tracy’s occurs, they need to be ready.
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