The 2013 Sweetwater Heart Walk Leadership Breakfast was held on Thursday morning, June 27 at The Center, located on the Sweetwater TSTC (Texas State Technical College) West Texas campus.
The gathering is a kick-off to encourage community members to participate in the Sweetwater Heart Walk, scheduled this year in mid-September.
The keynote speaker of the event was Kirk Maberry, who recounted his recent medical scare on Sunday morning, April 28. As he was getting ready to attend church, he told his wife that his heart felt funny.
Thereafter, Maberry suffered a seizure and his heart stopped. His wife began administering CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and then called the paramedics--two efforts which he says saved his life.
Maberry stated that for around thirty minutes, he had no pulse. After that time, fortunately, paramedics found his pulse, stabilized him and transported him via helicopter to Hendrick Medical Center.
Once he was fully stabilized, tests were administered, but an angiogram showed no plaque buildup. Maberry wasn't ill or in poor health, yet he suffered from the problem with his heart.
Maberry recounted some Bible stories of how God performed miracles--how ravens were used to feed Elijah, the donkey who talked to Baalim, and how the three Hebrew boys were saved from the fiery furnace--and the various ways the miracles were performed. Maberry said that the greatest miracle of all was Jesus' death and resurrection, which is a miracle that changed his own life.
Just as God used different people and things in the Bible, Maberry said that God used his wife that Sunday morning. He cited Proverbs 18:22, which says, "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord."
And through the upcoming Heart Walk, Maberry said that people can be used through their finances and participation.
"God will use you to do something fantastic through your efforts," he expressed.
Maberry said that he thought about his situation afterward and how anxiety and depression took over. However, he said that he had a great support group who encouraged him.
"If God can use [different things], then He can use you if you're willing to let Him," he said.
The breakfast was sponsored by Texas National Bank. Other local sponsors include Buzzi Unicem USA, First Financial Bank, Shannon Clinic, The Medicine Place, Inc. and Wind Energy Turbine Services, Inc.
Also recognized at the event was the executive leadership team, which is made up of Donnie Ruppert-First Financial Bank, Janis McDowell-First Financial Bank, Jerrie Gee-Texas National Bank, Joni Coons-Texas State Technical College, Richard Smola-Ludlum Measurements, Inc., Susan Hughes-Buzzi Unicem USA, Tim Fambrough-Nolan County, Terri Wells-Shannon Clinic and Marlene Ruppert-Texas State Technical College.
The Sweetwater Heart Walk will be held on Saturday, September 14 at the Mustang Track Field. Registration will start at 8:45 a.m., with the walk beginning at 9 a.m.
Participants can register themselves, their business, or their team online at sweetwaterheartwalk.org. The event is a family-fun event that celebrates local survivors and fights heart disease.
Anyone with questions about the Sweetwater Heart Walk and sponsorship opportunities is encouraged to call Jerrie Gee at 325-235-4997 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Website questions can be directed to 888-433-7220 ext. 2643.