Woman shares story of survival after collapsing on sidewalk and receiving CPR

Lisa Dixon (10TV)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) -- Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans – taking more lives each year than all cancers combined.

This Saturday in Columbus is the Heart Walk, that raises funds for lifesaving science.

10TV's Karina Nova talked to the 2019 Heart Hero, a woman who says it came down to just a few seconds of getting life saving help.

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"I don't drink, don't smoke, I watch what I eat, I don't eat red meat," says Lisa Dixon, who 5 years ago was a newlywed, living a happy and healthy lifestyle, so she thought.

"I went to a doctor for a physical, she said 'have you had an EKG,' she said you should have one. Well, I didn't," she explains.

Three months later, that decision not to get her heart checked, caught up to her on a crosswalk, as she walked home from work.

"I don't know how I made it across the street because I don't remember. But I crossed over and collapsed, no heartbeat no pulse," she says.

Thankfully, a man walking by saw Lisa face down and performed CPR until medics arrived.

"They rushed me into the hospital. I was in ICU for 3 days and that Friday when I woke up they said I would need a defibrillator and I had sudden cardiac arrest," she says.

That's when Lisa also learned her heart beat too fast, up to 200 beats per minute.

"Fortunately for me I'm a survivor. 1 in 5 survives this. If you don't get help within seconds you don't make it," Lisa says, knowing if it wasn't for Marc, the man who performed CPR, she might not be alive.

"Look at your blood pressure, look at your cholesterol. Listen to your doctor and don't bury your head in the sand and don't think it won't happen to me," she says.

Lisa now has a defibrillator and is on 2 medications.

She also watches what she eats and continues to exercise.

She's hoping people come out to the heart walk on Saturday and get some exercise at the Heart Walk for the American Heart Association.

Click here for more information from the Central Ohio Heart Walk for the American Heart Association on August 24, 2019.

Facts from the American Heart Association.

  • Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans – taking more lives each year than all cancers combined.
  • 80% of deaths from cardiovascular disease are preventable through better lifestyle choices: manage blood pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, get active, eat better, lose weight, and if you smoke – stop. (Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the U.S.)
  • Start by Knowing Your Numbers: Talk to your healthcare provider to learn about your Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar and BMI (Body Mass Index). (You can’t manage what you don’t measure, which is why knowing your risk is critical to preventing cardiovascular disease. And knowing your risk starts with knowing your numbers.)
  • Know your family history: both the risk of heart disease and risk factors for heart disease are strongly linked to family history.
  • Take action when you notice you don’t feel normal and talk to your doctor.