A Very Personal Note On Heart Health

Geri Hirsch + Darin Friedman

Geri Hirsch + Darin Friedman
Thank you all so much for the concerned snaps, comments and notes regarding my absence from the WWW.  I’m just now coming up for air after going through what is undoubtedly my biggest nightmare.

The story I’m about to share is pretty heavy but I’m sharing with the hope to helps saves lives and I urge you to please share this with those that you love.

On January 20th I got that dreaded call, “Your husband is in the emergency room, you need to go there immediately.”

I’m certain I broke just about every driving law while on my way there, including driving on the wrong side of the road. With a pounding heart, I arrived and was greeted by a social worker who told me that on his typical morning jog his heart stopped and he collapsed on the pavement. He was found by a passerby who called 911. LA County Sheriff Leobardo Trujillo arrived at the scene and performed CPR – he had no pulse and had stopped breathing.

The Fire Department arrived minutes later to assist. They got him breathing on his own and rushed him to the hospital where the doctors discovered a 95% blockage in his heart. He immediately had surgery then spent the next few days in a hypothermic coma.

I stayed by his side in the ICU, held his hand, left on ESPN so that he felt at home and talked to him as though he were awake.

“I love you so much, Boss. We’re going to get through this. You’re the strongest. We got this! PLEASSSSSE.”

I had never been more afraid. And was in complete shock.

Our families and friends sat together and prayed. We prayed for him, for the doctors and nurses, for the men and women who saved his life and for all the other families going through a hard time.

He slowly began to wake up. He’d move an arm or open his eyes and when he lifted his hand to give us a thumbs up the tears were uncontrollable. We knew our guy was back!

I’m relieved to share that we’re now home, he’s doing great and will make a FULL recovery. It is truly a miracle and there are no words to express our gratitude. I feel like it is now our responsibility to share his story with the hopes that it can help save others from going through the hardship we’ve endured. Here is what I learned and ask of all of you:

1. Please update your medical and emergency contact info in your phone. He was a John Doe upon arrival and they didn’t know anything about him nor did they know who to notify. This information is very helpful in emergencies. If you have an iphone, you can add this in the health app under *Medical ID.

2. Please take a CPR class. You never know when someone may need your help and every second counts. Had the sheriff been 20 seconds later he may not be here today.

3. Be on top of your health and listen to your body. My 38-year-old husband is a vegetarian, has low cholesterol, works out everyday, sees doctors regularly and was the healthiest. Nobody is pardon from health problems.

4. If you’re having reoccurring chest pain, please see your physician and inquire about a CT Angiogram. A stress test is not always enough.

5. Hug those you love tightly. And don’t forget to say I love you. It can all be taken in just one heart beat.

Lastly, if you’re as stunned and confused as we were to learn about what happened, you can find out more at Heart View Global and support first responders like Sheriff Trujillo at ALADS.

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  1. First and foremost I want to say I’m so happy to hear that he made it through and you are both home, happy and healthy. 2ndly dropping like that out running is one of my fears. I have a lock on my phone so how would they even get into my phone? This is why it’s a good idea to carry your ID with you if you go out for a run or any outdoor activities. At least at the gym they have all my info. Also it scares the hell out of me when I hear of YOUNG and HEALTHY people dropping because of a heart problem. I hope for a complete and full recovery for him…and you!


    1. Hi Heather —

      Not sure if you have an iPhone, but if you do, the information you enter into the Health App can be accessed without entering your passcode by pressing on “Emergency.” Hope that helps!


  2. Oh my goodness! That is so scary! I wonder why and how these problems can affect someone so young and healthy 🙁
    Thank God he is okay!!

  3. I simply can’t wrap my head around this happening to anyone I love. My heart drops. I’m so happy he will make a full recovery. For his sake and yours. Sending light and love your way. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  4. That is so scary! I’m so sorry you had to go through that and I’m so glad he’s making a recovery. It’s so important to pay attention to health and thank you for the reminder. I hope he makes a quick recovery

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  5. I am so glad your husband had an angel watching over him and is on the mend. He was doing everything right healthwise so this is a big shock. Thank God he will be alright. Hugs to you, Pat S

  6. I am so sorry to hear this, glad he is doing well though! Another tip for runners, write your blood type and emergency contact info on inside side wall of shoe – it doesn’t wear off as easily there and is visible to first responders. They also make a contact “tag” that you can clip to tongue of your shoe/laces. If you do run with a cell phone also add your emergency contact information under ICE in phone, that stands for IN CASE OF EMERGENCY and first reposnders will look under that. Also think about NOT locking your phone, if they don’t know your password they can’t get to the info easily. We had a friend who was hit by a car (hit and run) while running and we learned all this the hard way, she unfortunately didn’t make it, so I hope this info will help someone in her honor.

  7. So sorry to hear of all you guys have been through, but so happy it has had a positive outcome. Thanks for sharing your story to inspire others to take care of themselves. Sending you both lots of positivity and wishing your husband a speedy recovery, and wishing you a speedy recovery from the shock of it all. x

  8. So glad he is okay, wow!

    In everyone’s phone / contact list, you should ALWAYS have an “ICE” contact listed — ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. My husband’s phone number is in my phone as ICE, then his first and last name. Emergency workers will look in your phone for an ICE contact.

  9. First and foremost, I’m just so glad and relieved that everything turned out all right and that your husband is slowly making his recovery. Sharing this story must bring back so much painful and anxious memories for you – I’m just glad that you’re all right as well. And thank you for reminding us that life is so precious and fragile and can be taken away from us any moment. Sending my love to you, your husband, your family, and friends <3

    XO, Elizabeth

  10. Very sad! I’m so happy for you all that he recovered and these tips are very helpful. I know this must have been hard for you to write and relive, but you may wish to do a little proof-reading/spell checking. Wishing you all the best!

  11. I could almost understand the kind of emotional roller coaster that you went through because I faced the same experience with my dad. I hope things gets better for you & your family. hugs!

  12. Oh, I cannot imagine the adrenaline and panic. I am so glad it had the outcome that it did. Your commitment to working out, which is how i got here, is some important and sure to strengthen way more than just your body and heart. Good for you.

    I shared this immediately, such powerful message. Thank you.

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