Going Red For A Cause: American Heart Month promotes education on cardiovascular health

DELMARVA – “My heart just beat to the point where it stopped and no oxygen was moving and I was in a pulseless state when they found me,” Charlie Nordhoff’s said.

In 2019, Charlie Nordhoff’s life changed in a matter of minutes after suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest. Thanks to a coworker who preformed CPR, Charlie’s life was saved. “I had no family history of heart issues, I had no blockages, no cholesterol issues. I was not overweight and I exercised a couple times a week. It was just out of the blue,” Nordhoff said.

“A lot of times when something like that happens, it’s kind of a wake up call for people. They don’t really know how to proceed or are a little cautious about proceeding with their daily lives so we just give them education about that,” Director of Tidal Health Cardiology Rehabilitation Program’s Chris Evans said.

February is American Heart Month, putting a focus on cardiovascular health, promoting awareness, and providing resources. Resources like the TidalHealth’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program helped save Charlie. “The big thing is education. Teaching them about the risk factors, heart disease, and things that they may not have realized before hand,” Evans said.

Experts say that preventative medicine is key for early detection, something that was impacted by the pandemic. “You saw a lot of worsening of conditions that would not have happened if that routine preventative care and those visits had occurred,” Atlantic General Hospital’s Director of Population Health Tina Simmons said.

According to the American Heart Association, 350,000 people will suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. Only 10% will survive. That’s why Charlie now calls himself a survivor. “Someone that still gets out of bed everyday in spite of the glum circumstances and still tries to continue a normal life,” Nordhoff said.

Health experts say there are ways to decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. That includes physical activity, healthy eating, and to quit smoking.

Now those on the shore have many resources available to them, including Tidal Health’s Heart Smart screenings for those who don’t have primary insurance. For those interested, call the main office at (410)-543-7026.

Worcester County Health Department and Atlantic General have also partnered for the Go Red For Women campaign. To find out more information or follow their events throughout the month, click here

Categories: Health, Local News, Maryland