Mike Papale from In A Heartbeat | Surviving a Cardiac Arrest at Age 17

Table of Contents

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At the age of 17, Mike Papale survived a cardiac arrest while playing basketball. In an act to prevent more people from dying from a sudden cardiac arrest and spread more awareness on this topic, Mike started In A Heartbeat in 2015, a foundation which so far has donated 200 AEDs, raised $35,000 to research, trained 3,000 in CPR, and screened 4,000 hearts.

Timestamps of this episode:

  • Intro 00:0002:48
  • Surviving a cardiac arrest at age 17 02:4806:38
  • The importance of AEDs 06:3807:20
  • Being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 07:2009:40
  • How it feels to get your ICD replaced 09:4010:40
  • What the first few years of recovery were like 10:4012:40
  • The medication Mike is currently taking 12:4014:55
  • The first years are the hardest 14:5519:56
  • Support The Heart Warrior Project 19:5621:38
  • Life changes Mike had to get used to 21:3822:51
  • In A Heartbeat Foundation 22:5128:10
  • The medical setback Mike experienced 28:1032:10
  • How Mike feels about all that has happened to him 32:1033:07
  • Why Mike Started In A Heartbeat Foundation 33:0736:00
  • Mike’s book A Big Heart 36:0039:25
  • What Mike wished his cardiologist had told him sooner 39:2542:08
  • When you feel bad, sad, angry, etc. because of what happened 42:0844:48
  • The lack of awareness around sudden cardiac arrest in young people 44:4847:44
  • One last tip and advice Mike would give to other survivors 47:4450:13
  • Outro 50:1350:57
  • Support The Heart Warrior Project 50:5751:57
  • In A Heartbeat (In A Heartbeat Foundation is dedicated to preventing death from sudden cardiac arrest and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)with a goal of installing an AED in every building in America.)
  • A Big Heart Podcast (Through A Big Heart Podcast, Creator & Host Mike Papale addresses how to overcome the physical and emotional obstacles of life with heart disease—exploring a different challenge in each episode.)
  • A Big Heart (A Big Heart is Mike Papale’s story of surviving cardiac arrest, learning to live with illness, finding your life path, & committing to helping others.)

Note that The Heart Warrior Project is run by one guy, which is, yes, me.

Like most people, I have bills to pay.

If you have found or come to find anything helpful or insightful here on the website, please consider supporting The Heart Warrior Project.

If you are a survivor, I would recommend buying either a Heart Warrior t-shirt or a Heart Warrior mug—or both!

I, together with an illustrator, created the design for them (and we’re working on more cool designs to come). 

Both the t-shirt and the mug are made from durable and quality materials, and don’t they look just great?! Of course, these are just suggestions, but I do not think you will regret having them.

I personally love wearing the t-shirt myself. And I drink my coffee every day out of my Heart Warrior mug

If the t-shirt or mug doesn’t speak to you, there are a few other ways to support The Heart Warrior Project:

  • BUY ME A COFFEE: If you think I deserve a coffee for the work I put into this project, you can support me with a virtual coffee on Ko-fi. What will I do with the proceeds? Well, due to my heart disease, I won’t be enjoying a cup myself. Instead, I’ll channel the funds into further project development. Anything, even as little as €2, can help me to keep this project alive.
  • AFFILIATE LINKS: If there are any links to a product mentioned in an article or podcast episode and you are interested in buying it, consider doing so through the provided link. Likely, it will be an affiliate link. What is an affiliate link, you ask? Basically, it is a link where I could earn a small commission if someone buys the product through that link. Buying through this link will not cost you anything extra.
  • SPREAD THE WORD: If you like what I am doing here, you could always simply spread the word about this project to anyone you think might benefit. It would help a lot.

Choosing any of these ways to support this project will truly help me a lot in putting out more content and building The Heart Warrior Project further.

Many thanks, 


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    For the first time in history, we at HWP have launched re-birthday cards into the world. Surviving a cardiac arrest is a significant event. The day you died and were brought back to life is very precious for almost every cardiac arrest survivor. This is a day to celebrate, or at least take a moment to reflect on the moment you came back to this world. To make that significant day even better, why not buy your favorite survivor a re-birthday card?

    *We ship worldwide, with no additional fees (besides the shipping cost, of course). All prices already include VAT.*