Sandeep Jauhar’s grandfather was sitting down to lunch with family when he crumpled to the floor. Jeff Kwitowski’s father was on a routine bike ride. Cat Davis Ahmed’s father was enjoying a game of tennis. And Florence Champagne was in an office building when she dropped to her knees, gasping for air and praying for her life.
“The heart is the only organ that can kill you in a matter of minutes,” explained Dr. Jauhar, cardiologist, author and keynote speaker at the second annual Cardiovascular Health Policy Summit. Speakers’ recollections of family tragedy and near-death experiences gave credence to his comment. They also attached a sense of urgency to the day-long event’s message: Heart patients need timely, affordable access to appropriate care and medicine.