December 27 has always been a happy day to celebrate the important people in my life. It is my husband Scott’s birthday AND my parents’ anniversary. This past December 27th however, went a little bit differently. The day started pretty normal. I made arrangements to go to lunch with Scott to celebrate his birthday. My mom and dad (being the cutest couple ever), had big plans. My dad isn’t much of a shopper but loves to gift my mom a little something special each anniversary. After shopping, they planned to continue their annual tradition for dinner at their favorite restaurant, Houston’s. Then in an instant, everything changed. I received a phone call from a nurse in the emergency room at Overland Park Regional Hospital to let me know my dad was having a heart attack.
If you know me well, then you most-likely also know my dad because I talk about him a lot. He’s a genuine family man with a heart that only knows kindness. He’s a healthy guy too. He doesn’t smoke or drink and because of my wonderful mother, eats a very healthy diet. He’s 70 (a young 70 though) and still works because he loves it. Oh and he also walks over a mile almost everyday. He’s just not the type of person you would expect to have a massive heart attack.
We rushed to the hospital to be with my mom while my dad received excellent care from a cardiologist that “just happened” to be at the hospital that day. He received a stint to open his artery and was taken up to recovery. But, the stint failed and he was whisked right back to surgery. After waiting for what seemed like hours, we were finally able to meet with the Cardiologist. My dad was stable, but to protect his heart they decided to do a newer procedure to rest his heart and hopefully ensure a full recovery. The next part became very technical: the doctors implanted an Impella, also called the world’s smallest heart pump. This device would hook on to his left ventricle of his heart and would continue to pump his heart for the next 4 days. He would have to stay in ICU and lay completely flat without much movement – which resulted in some very uncomfortable days. Special technicians oversee the patient while they are hooked up to the machine to ensure it is working properly. It is a fascinating device, it’s a big deal and ultimately it saved his life.
Why am I sharing my story with you? Because innovative technology like this would not be available if it were not for the continued support and donations made to foundations such as the American Heart Association. Every February, Charlie Hustle teams up with the American Heart Association to raise awareness on heart health. The partnership was launched in hopes of raising awareness, to help people in need and to support advanced research methods that make technology like the Impella a reality. When the Charlie Hustle crew reached out to me to see if I wanted to help spread the word of this campaign, I obviously jumped at the chance!
Charlie Hustle has created a collection of apparel and accessories and 25% of all sales will be donated to the American Heart Association. Everyone loves Charlie Hustle shirts – especially when they’re “Special Editions”! The brand is the essence of KC cool for all ages. With the popularity of athleisure style, these items are perfect with those new sneakers you just got (that you do NOT wear to the gym). Plus, if you buy one of these awesome shirts you have the perfect thing to wear on Valentine’s Day! Sooooo…cool t-shirts AND donating to an amazing cause that helped to save my dad’s life? Sign me up.
Where can you grab your special addition Charlie Hustle Merchandise? Through the whole month of February, these items can be purchased online or at the Charlie Hustle Plaza locations. While supplies last, these items will also be available at The Bunker, Made in KC, and Scheels. But seriously, they are going fast and you only have until the end of February before they are gone.
My dad had his one-month check up with his cardiologist yesterday. He will be doing one more procedure for another blocked artery in a couple of weeks but other than that his prognosis is good. My dad has always said that he’s a very lucky guy. On that particular day, he was lucky he recognized something was not right with his heart. He was lucky he was with my mom who rushed him to the emergency room. He was lucky there was a hospital nearby. He was lucky the cardiologist was on-site at that moment. And, he was lucky that there was team of doctors and a special machine that helped save his life. Many don’t realize that heart problems can sometimes be hereditary and silent. You can try your best to live a healthy lifestyle, just like my dad, and still have a problem. You can have your yearly physical in the morning, receive a clean bill of health and still suffer a massive heart attack that afternoon – yep, that also happened on 12/27. Whether you are a man or a woman, do yourself a favor and be aware of your family’s heart history and your own heart health. Then, go grab one of these t-shirts and support the efforts of Charlie Hustle and AHA. Then tell all your friends to get one too. Then have those friends tell their friends….you get the idea.
Small efforts can equal something bigger than you know. Buy a heart, save a heart.