The Tarrant County Heart Ball on April 23 raised over $107,000 raised to help fulfill the American Heart Association’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Jennifer and Kyle Riggs who have personally experienced the importance of CPR, served as co-chairs of the annual Tarrant County black-tie event at The Ashton Depot.
In August 2019, 36-year-old Kyle Riggs experienced chest pains. His wife, Jen, started researching symptoms on her phone as their family of four hopped in the car to celebrate their child’s upcoming first day of kindergarten.
She recommended that Kyle should take an aspirin, so Kyle dashed into the drug store to get a bottle. Jen and the two children waited. And they waited. But when the fire truck arrived with lights flashing, they ran inside the store. What Jen saw was Kyle, collapsed on the floor with a flurry of activity surrounding him.
“Luckily for us, a neighbor dad was shopping, knew CPR, and took over,” Jen said, remembering the day.
Every year, 475,000 people die from cardiac arrest in the United States, and CPR training can change that number. The American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) trains more than 23 million people globally every year by educating healthcare providers, caregivers, and the public on how to respond to cardiac arrest and first aid emergencies like the Riggs’.
Kyle says “CPR is the only reason I had the chance to make it to the hospital”.
An artery blockage caused the dramatic event, but after six days in the ICU of a Fort Worth hospital, Kyle is now able to enjoy exercising six times a week, family vacations, and seeing his children celebrate birthdays. As chairs of the 2022 Tarrant County Heart Ball, the Riggs family wanted to promote the importance of CPR training and increase the number of people trained.
Proceeds from the April Heart Ball are dedicated to the American Heart Association’s CPR training and other life-saving programs.
“By supporting such programs, the Tarrant County Heart Ball has been a long-standing tradition in Tarrant County,” said Jason Morton, AHA staff partner for the event. “The community directly benefits from the generosity of our patrons and sponsors who made it such a raging success this year.”