Kristin Ratliff is lucky to be alive. She suffered from a heart condition during a track event in May of 2016. Her father, Dr. Derek Ratliff happens to be an Ophthalmologist at Bassett Healthcare. He was at the event and recognized right away something wasn’t right.
"She was breathing harder than I’d ever seen her breath before, huffing and puffing, and then she just fell to the ground."
He immediately started CPR while bystanders went to get an AED or Automated External Defibrillator. His daughter Kristin explains what happened next.
"My heart basically short circuited, so usually most people have one electrical current that goes through their heart, but I had an accessory pathway so my heart… the electrical current to make my heart pump went through a different pathway, so it basically just short circuited it."
Thanks to CPR and the use of an AED, Kristin’s heart was shocked back to life. Her story was shared during the recent Go Red for Women program that raises awareness for heart health and cardiovascular diseases in women.
The story doesn’t end there. Now that inspiration is being used to motivate all non-clinical personnel throughout Bassett Healthcare to learn hands-only CPR and the proper use of an AED. They’re also inviting the public to learn this Saturday during the Indoor Heart Walk at FoxCare in Oneonta.
Kristin Ratliff says: "I think you never know when something’s going to happen, and it’s good when people can act. Act quickly and act with the knowledge of CPR. So I think anyone can make a difference. Even if they’re just calling 911, or just being there everyone can help."