Liv & Learn: Ruqayya Gibson On Sudden Cardiac Arrest

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February is American Heart Month and for the Alabama assistant sprint coach, this time of the year brings heaviness to hers. 

At the beginning of the year, football fans saw Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suddenly collapse on the field after he made a tackle. He suffered sudden cardiac arrest but was fortunate that the immediate attention of medical teams at the game saved his life.

Almost four years ago, Ruqayya Gibson's son Damani passed away unexpectedly from sudden cardiac arrest after returning home one morning from track practice. 

At the time, Gibson didn't think sudden cardiac arrest was common. However, as years passed, she started to connect with other families and mothers who lost a child of their very own. She decided to use her pain to make a difference in the world. 

In October 2019, Gibson started the Damani Gibson Foundation to educate the track and field community and to connect with other families who have been impacted by sudden cardiac arrest, the No. 1 leading cause of death according to the American Heart Association.

In the latest episode of Liv & Learn, Gibson shares more on sudden cardiac arrest and the Damani Gibson Foundation. She also answers your submitted questions throughout the podcast.  

Podcast Segments:

  • 1:18 - Interview with Coach Ruqayya Gibson on Black History Month
  • 3:12 - Gibson on her journey through coaching at the high school and college levels
  • 15:12 - The meaning of Heart Month to Gibson 
  • 16:50 - Conversations around sudden cardiac arrest
  • 23:15 - More on the purpose of the Damani Gibson Foundation 
  • 36:00 - Gibson answers your submitted questions
  • 45:30 - Liv's Thoughts For The Week - education around sudden cardiac arrest

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