Losing my dad so suddenly has been very difficult to process and the one thing that gives me hope is thinking about ways to honor his memory. So, I've decided to complete the Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart virtual run on June 7th. I want to help support other families that have heart disease so they don't have to lose someone they love too.
My dad, Tom Reddon, passed away suddenly on April 24th, 2020, due to suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 64, while out for his regular run.
Heart disease runs in our family, my grandfather, Roy Reddon, died in 1994 when he suffered a massive heart attack. Knowing this, my dad took all the precautionary measures to avoid the same fate. Which is why on April 4th, 2019, when my dad had a cardiac arrest while out for a run, while vacationing in Florida, we were shocked to learn that he had coronary artery disease. My dad's life was saved that day, due to the quick action of a bystander who did CPR until the ambulance arrived. In a weird twist of fate, he was also on vacation, from our small city of Fredericton. My dad made a full recovery and had two stents put in. The nurses attributed his good health to his recovery and survival, as only 10% of people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting live.
My dad lived another year and 20 days. We had just celebrated his 1 year post SCA. My dad's extra days allowed him to see son's first daughter be born in August, 2019 and to walk me down the aisle in November, 2019 at my wedding. Without CPR and the medical team in Florida, we would have not had those memories. #CPRsaveslives
One thing I'll miss the most, is running with my dad, he was my biggest fan! My dad and I ran regularly together, we did a couple of races over the years and often weekly runs on our lunch breaks, or long runs on the weekend. I'm going to miss our runs together and him telling me all his running stories - how fast his pace was, how many marathons he ran, and his milestone trip to run the Boston Marathon. Dad could remember all his best times and even the weather during his most memorable runs and he loved sharing those stories with me.
I want to honor my dad and his passion for running which is why I'll be running on June 7th. I am going to finish my dad's run that he started on April 24th. My dad stopped his garmin just before he suffered his cardiac arrest and his last run synced to Strava. My dad ran 4.6km of a 5km run, he was 400 meters from home. I know my dad will be running with me on June 7th, and everyday... pushing me to run faster, harder and longer! My longtime friend of 25+ years Sarah is going to run with me. It will be the most difficult 5km run that I ever do.
My hope is to bring awareness to the importance of knowing CPR and your family history.
Thank you for your support.