HEART WALK: Thousands Gather To Raise Awareness

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A big crowd at a free concert with Country star Jason Brown.  Hard to imagine a more perfect day.

This is one more day that Butch Gibbs nearly missed.

"Eight years ago on April 2nd, 2004, I died in my living room,” says Butch.  “My heart quit beating and I quit breathing."

Butch's wife started CPR.  First responders arrived with a defibrillator.  Long story short, Butch is alive to tell other people how important it is to take care of your ticker.

"For every one of me there are 19 people that did not survive a sudden cardiac arrest,” he says.  “And it can strike anyone at any time at any age.  It's not a heart attack.  It's the electrical system of your heart."

The 2012 heart walk has grown to 5,000 people who raised $400,000 and a whole lot of attention for heart health.

It`s not just today, the American Heart Association spends a lot of time at the State Capitol, pressuring lawmakers to spend money on more defibrillators like the one that saved Butch.

"We helped get a law passed that all seniors must pass a CPR class before they can graduate from high school," says Butch.

The Heart Association gets so much support because most people know someone who has had a heart problem.  The money raised today goes to research and education so that more people will be around to tell their stories.

Butch says, “Because it might be a loved one or someone close to you.”

Jason adds, “And just making awareness of how to take care of yourself and take care of that little thing inside of you that keeps you goin'."

This was the fifth year for the walk, and organizers expect this event to keep growing.