Charlotte Hearts: Stories of Survival

Updated:Apr 2,2014
Each month, we're highlighting a Stroke or Heart Disease survivor in the Charlotte area.  If you'd like to volunteer, or have a survivor we can highlight, please email us !

Forever Grateful: Linda Daley’s Tribute to Her Hero Mark Buskey

For Linda Daley, a casual lunch date with a friend and Bank of America coworker last fall quickly turned into a life changing event. One minute she was walking back from Salsaritas and the next thing she knew, she was in a hospital bed and four days had passed.

Linda had suffered sudden cardiac arrest on November 20, 2012. Fortunately, Mark Buskey, a security professional with Universal Protection Service at BOA, was close by and ran to the scene. Mark assessed the situation and immediately began hands-only CPR. Another bank employee called 911. A crowd began to assemble. Mark continued with his compressions, never stopping until medics arrived.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women; yet very few females consider it their biggest health threat. Linda Daley knew the risks, had an irregular heartbeat with mitral valve prolapse, but she was 57 years old, a triathlete, and a healthy eater. Never in a million years did she think it would happen to her. Neither did Linda’s friend, Patti Stiene. Patti was the coworker who was with Linda when she collapsed. But Patti jumped into action and found the closest AED just in case Mark might need it. She was thankful that there were people nearby who were willing to help.

Nearly 400,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital setting in the United States annually. Sadly, 89 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. Most Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they’re afraid of hurting the victim.

Mark, a former NYPD officer who had just been hired by the security company in July and recertified in CPR a few months earlier, was familiar with emergency situations and did his job without hesitation. Linda is forever grateful.

Today, Linda has an Implanted Electronic Defibrillator (IED) that regularly monitors her heart for anything abnormal. She says she feels completely normal. Ironically, Linda has been an active volunteer with the American Heart Association since 2009 including leading a Heart Walk team from Bank of America.

American Heart Association events such as Heart Walk provide funding for cardiovascular research and education. Research such as the science and technology used to develop the IED implanted in Linda’s chest and the cooling chamber used to preserve her brain function after the heart attack. The American Heart Association also created the guidelines for CPR. Linda knows that the AHA and her new bff, Mark Buskey, both played a major role in saving her life.

All heart survivors have an inspirational story to tell. Thank you, Linda for sharing yours. To watch Linda’s video go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OMpgY45Z8k