Terry Lewis said he died five times one night because of a cardiac incident. Now he's on a mission to help others.
Terry Lewis is a Plantation Bay resident and a cardiac arrest survivor that shares his story and mission after a life-changing night.
Terry has a history of heart disease in the family. Two of his brothers died from cardiovascular disease at age 39 and 40, and his mother and sister have experienced successful triple-bypass heart surgeries.
His cardiac arrest occurred at home in the middle of the night, hours after he had completed the second leg of a 75-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. It resulted in five bypass surgeries due to a 90% blockage.
"I lost consciousness and basically died on five different occasions," he said. "I was saved by our Lord and Savior."
His wife, Lesa, performed CPR, guided over the phone by a 911 responder, until the paramedics arrived eight minutes later. The paramedic's vehicle was equipped with an AED (automated external defibrillator), something that the American Heart Association is a strong advocate for.
"Life is fragile, and a cardiac event can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere at any age," Terry Lewis said.
He is currently inviting the community to participate in the next AHA event, the 2019 Volusia/Flagler Heart Walk at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Oct. 4, to raise funds to fight heart disease and stroke in the community.
He has already found supporters for the event in the Plantation Bay community. Visit shorturl.at/LOS26. Call Terry Lewis at 336-406-8589.
"The AHA has a very special place in my heart and is a large reason for my survival and in keeping our family together," he wrote in an email. "We look forward to working with the team of outstanding professionals at AHA in helping build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and strokes."