b'CARES 2023 Annual ReportWhy CARESMattersA Story of Survival from OHCAJoshua Lupton, MD, MPH, MPhilAssistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University May 8th, 2016 was a day so consequential to my life and yet represented by an entirely blank space in my memory. On May 8th, 2016, my fiance (now wife), Katherine, watched as I collapsed suddenly in front of her while we were running a race in Frederick, Maryland. Watching me unresponsive and face down, she immediately called for help as she rolled me over. Paramedics riding bikes throughout the course were nearby and raced to my side, quickly realizing I did not have a pulse. They began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), delivered defibrillations, intubated me, and then, after getting back my pulse, transported me to the closest hospital. My mother, an experienced emergency department nurse, soon received a phone call where she was told that her 27-year-old son had just experienced a sudden cardiac arrest while running and was unconscious, unresponsive, and being flown via helicopter from the hospital in Frederick to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Katherine, alone, had to drive the hour from Frederick to Baltimore.Over the next few days, I woke up. Extensive testing revealed no clear cause of my cardiac arrestan ultimate diagnosis of idiopathic ventricular fibrillation. In the hospital, I was visited by a parade of physicians, medical students, and even the dean of student affairsas I was also a medical student at Johns Hopkins. I still recall the somber looks as my friends and colleagues opened the door to my room, clearly unsure what to anticipate after hearing I was hospitalized after a cardiac arrest. Ultimately, I was discharged home with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in my chest to begin my recovery.RecoveryIn the two weeks after my cardiac arrest, I began to recover my short-term memory while battling mountains of medical bills, referral paperwork for follow-ups, physical exhaustion, and residual chest pain from CPR. At the end of those two weeks, I was back rotating as a medical student in the hospital. Less than a month after my arrest, I witnessed the prolonged resuscitation of a teenager. Unable to perform CPR myself due to my healing ICD implantation, I watched helplessly from the sidelines with both grief for this child and guilt at my survival. By three months, I was cleared to perform CPR on patients, including a patient near my age who died of cardiac arrest despite all our efforts at an emergency department in another academic hospital in California, where I rotated as a student. No one on the care team there knew I had survived a cardiac arrest just a few months ago. Much like the research suggesting, perhaps surprisingly, that witnessing resuscitation attempts aids a family in their grief recovery, I found my exposure to cardiac arrest helped catalyze my recovery and transition to my new life. Six months after my cardiac arrest, I completed my intensive care unit (ICU) rotation, spending a month in the same cardiac ICU where I had recently been a patient (it was assigned well before my cardiac arrest).8 9'