My heart story began on Wednesday, December 5th 2001 when after returning home from a round of basketball I suffered a heart attack. My young kids saw their dad crumble to the ground and I was rushed to the hospital. I was lucky to survive.
Knowing my family history and the tough road to recovery ahead of me, I decided to dedicate myself to finding a healthier way of life. I became a vegetarian, influenced my family to do the same, and followed my doctors’ orders for exercise, medication and check-ups. While in cardiac rehab I couldn’t believe the lack of motivation and hope around me. Every other person seemed ready to give up while I was just getting started.
Our world was turned upside-down again on Halloween of 2016. Once again, while playing basketball at the JCC, I suddenly dropped to the floor. I was in cardiac arrest this time. I had some incredible people looking out for me that day. My son, Logan, was right by my side and began administering chest compressions. Robert Reed, a Plano ISD coach, also performed CPR. Shawn Echols, now a Dallas firefighter, joined in and they administered shocks from an AED (automated external defibrillator) before EMS arrived. These heroes saved my life.
After undergoing surgery I was fitted with an internal defibrillator to keep my heart beating properly. I promise you, if I had not cared for my body in the 15 years between my two heart incidents, I would not be here telling this story today.
I am now embarking on my next challenge: My Hike of a Lifetime.
I will train over the next year (August 2019 – August 2020) to make the 11 mile hike from Aspen to Crested Butte. By car, Crested Butte and Aspen are 100 miles apart. But on foot, the two mountain towns are just 11 miles from one another. The hike from Aspen to Crested Butte takes hikers over the 12,500-foot West Maroon Pass and is one of the most iconic and popular routes in the area. I plan to document this journey through my social media (@mitchmeyers77) and ask that you join me in supporting a cause near and dear to my heart.
The American Heart Association’s mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
My goal is to raise $1,000 for every mile of my hike adding up to a grand total of $11,000.
These funds will go directly to AHA and fund lifesaving projects, research, community education, advocacy programs and so much more. Please consider making a donation on this page and share my story with those you love.