Starting Hearts was born out of tragedy and triumph when its founder, Lynn Blake, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. In her own words:
“On Valentine’s Day 2007, I was 27 years old and a newlywed of eleven days when my heart stopped without warning. Everyone stood stunned and unsure of what to do until two citizen heroes stepped forward to provide early care. One quickly started compressions while the other gave rescue breaths. 911 was called and Eagle County Paramedics arrived minutes later. A lifesaving defibrillator delivered three shocks and, miraculously, restarted my heart.
Doctors explained that I was one of the fortunate few to survive a sudden cardiac arrest and said that the only reason I was alive was due to bystander CPR and the use of a defibrillator.
After a complete recovery, I decided to establish Starting Hearts, a nonprofit dedicated to saving the lives of cardiac arrest victims through free CPR education and defibrillator access. I believe I survived for this reason: to dedicate my life to helping save others as I had been saved.”
Since inception, Starting Hearts has trained over 20,000 people in Colorado and has become a premier educational organization in teaching leadership and lifesaving skills to an entire generation. With the wonderful support of BGV Gives, Starting Hearts will complete the training of 3,500 students in Summit County and 1,600 students in Park County in 2019. These empowered students gain confidence, knowledge, and skills to last a lifetime; and some will one day save the precious life of a loved one, friend, or colleague. Citizen heroes, indeed!