Ralph’s Story


I thank you all for attending. I’m
Ralph Costen CEO of Costen floors and I am a three-time heart attack participant
and a one-time stroke participant I believe in AHA a for so so many reasons
but the main thing is is saved my life and for whatever reason between doctors
and aaj and God they made a decision that I need to be here tonight talking
to you and what you need to know is that American Heart Association is a valuable
asset not as a charity but as if someone that is out there every day with doctors
fighting for people’s lives with over a decade of support for the American Heart
Association you people out there and so many people across the state of Virginia
need to understand how important it is to financially support it do you realize
that we only collect three million dollars in the entire state and nine and
a half million dollars comes back to this state to save I do not know how
many people’s lives we have to join forces to ensure that iha stays on top
to ensure that the state of Virginia people having heart attacks and strokes
live so they asked me to talk about symptoms in signs of heart attacks and
strokes and I can’t speak for everybody but I can speak for myself I had a
triple bypass in 2005 that at the beginning it felt like a 200 pound
gorilla by the time I got to the hospital that felt like it 800 pound
gorilla and they put me out at 10:30 that Thursday night and at 8:30 the next
morning I had quadruple bypass painful yes
saving of a life yes and then the next one came in 2012 and it was just on
lifting something and I just got pains in my heart or in my chest
I can’t tell you that anything was wrong other than I thought I was having a
heart attack and turned out I did it was not a severe heart attack but it did
affect the heart a little bit and then 2016 I was at work sitting at my desk and
all of a sudden my jaw started hurting and it hurt fairly significantly and I
went to my wife and I said I think I’m having a heart attack we need to go to
the hospital and of course she did the right thing she called 9-1-1 and that’s
what you have to remember everyone here listening to this today needs to know to
call 9-1-1 as soon as you have a 200 pound gorilla on your chest or something
funky that feels in your heart or pains in your arm or as I had pains in my jaw
and my gums now on the stroke I have to confess I was on the golf course and
tried to play a couple extra holes which wasn’t intelligent at all I did not
think I was having a stroke I just thought I was having a vision issue and
after a couple holes I realized some was pretty serious and so they took me back
to my car which we called 9-1-1 at that time and because of some circumstances I needed to be taken by my son but again I go back to talk to that calling 9-1-1
the immediate minute that you know something is awry. With cardiovascular
disease on the rise and we know that the construction industry has a tendency not
to eat well although we very well we need to make sure that all of y’all
tonight here are present or aware that there are many many things that AHA
provides for your company for your employees and tonight when you leave I
hope each of y’all will take that take it back to your companies and utilize
those things that they present today and there are other ones out there also just
contact one of the young ladies here today they’ll be happy to talk to you
about that I would mention that for our company we got into their CPR program
and has helped immensely in a couple situations that develop down on job
sites so that’s another piece of the puzzle of trying to save lives and
that’s what American Heart Association does.

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