2004-09-03 / Medical

Heart Ass’n. Names 25-Year-old Woman Its Red Cap Ambassador For 2004 Wall Street Run & Heart Walk

Raabiya Hussain, a 25-year-old three-time survivor of sudden cardiac arrest, has been named the Red

Cap Survivor Ambassador of the American Heart Association’s 2004 Wall Street Run & Heart Walk which return to downtown Manhattan on Thursday evening, September 2nd.

A “red cap” is a red baseball cap featuring the American Heart Walk logo and the slogan, Fighting Back! “Red Caps” refers to survivors of heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke or heart surgery that wear the red caps and walk in the American Heart Walk. Hundreds of survivors from throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City, including Raabiya Hussain, participate to show that heart disease and stroke can be beaten. The American Heart Association estimate there is more than 10 million Americans alive today who have experienced cardiovascular-related surgery, heart attack, cardiac arrest or stroke.

As Red Cap Ambassador of the Wall Street Run & Heart Walk, Ms. Hussain will help create awareness about the importance of survivors participating in the event and to create awareness that heart disease isn’t “just an older person’s disease.”

Ms. Hussain had been healthy her whole life until one day, as she was walking through Grand Central Terminal on a Sunday morning, she suddenly collapsed. A nurse walking by immediately performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

“By the time the paramedics shocked my heart back, I’d been dead for about 10 minutes,” Raabiya said. Diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiac myopathy, doctors implanted a defibrillator. She recovered in about a month. Things were fine until about a year later when Raabiya suffered another cardiac arrest outside the New York Public Library. Four months later, it happened again, outside the same library. But this time Raabiya felt it coming.

“I felt very short of breath and very dizzy. I went to sit down on the steps and the next thing I knew I was lying on the steps and feeling as terrified as I’ve ever felt. I didn’t know if I was dead or alive - I was going through these weird states of dreaming and being awake. It took me a few moments to realize what was happening,” said Ms. Hussain.

Raabiya wants other women to be aware that heart disease affects all women, of all ages and races. Women get their mammogram every year, they go to the dentist every six months - and yet the heart is something that needs to be checked out, too.

“I am proud to be involved with the American Heart Association and to serve as the red cap ambassador for the Wall Street Run & Heart Walk,” Ms. Hussain said.

On Thursday, September 23, Step Out., Save Lives! Join Raabiya Hussain and hundreds of other survivors from New York City at the Wall Street Run & Heart Walk presented by Merrill Lynch. The Run & Walk begins at 6:30 p.m. at the World Financial Center.

Register your team today by calling 212-878-5900.

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