Survivors honored during annual Heart Gala

Survivors honored during annual Heart Gala

DECATUR—Prescott Paulin knows a thing or two about heart health.


In August of 2014 the 29 year old went into cardiac arrest at the end of Abe’s Amble 10K Race at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.


“I’m grateful to be alive and I’m grateful that our community has created an event where everybody can recognize the dramas that occur with cardiac disease and cardiac arrest,” Paulin said.


“You can call it preordained or whatever you want to call it but I had trained people near me at my time of need and they were able to pump be back to life,” Paulin said. “I am forever grateful for that.”


Paulin was one of the honorees at Saturday night’s Heart Gala put on by the American Red Cross.


“We want to do these gatherings because not only does it raise money for the American Heart Association but it also brings awareness to one of the deadliest diseases in the world, and that’s heart disease,” Karen Kedrose with AHA said. “Heart disease doesn’t affect just the elderly, or men, or the unhealthy, it can strike no matter what your life is like or how old you are and we can see that with a couple of our honorees tonight.”


In addition to Paulin,10 year old Mike Smith was also recognized. Smith went into cardiac arrest during a game of hide-and-seek with his neighbor friend. Following his incident, doctor’s found that Smith suffered from ALCAPA, which is a very rare heart disease.


Both Paulin and Smith survived their episodes and have both been nursed back to health but that doesn’t mean they are completely moving on, “I consider myself to be healthy and in good shape and honestly I never even considered going into cardiac arrest. I think it’s important that everyone is aware of the dangers,” Paulin added.


Over $10,000 was raised for the American Heart Association during the dinner on Saturday night.