Learn more about Antay Parker, a PACU nurse at North Hills Hospital, who lives with a serious cardiac condition and recently completed the Cowtown Half Marathon.
At 18 years of age, Antay Parker suffered a cardiac arrest and was not expected to survive. But after a month in the ICU, Antay walked out of the hospital with a pacemaker and an entirely new perspective on life. Last month, Antay also completed the Cowtown Half Marathon. How did she do this? We spent some time talking to Antay about her heart condition, how it has changed her life and her decision to run the half marathon.
Antay did not expect that she would become a PACU nurse someday. In fact, she has her BA in History and Religion. But after she experienced her cardiac arrest and spent her difficult recovery with an exceptional nursing staff, she realized, "This is what I am supposed to do." In fact, the nurses who helped her recover have now become some of her closest friends and were important mentors during her years in nursing school.
Now a PACU nurse at North Hills Hospital, Antay aims to assist others the way her nurses helped her. Her heart condition has been challenging, but she is extraordinarily grateful for her second chance at life. In fact, she seeks out those suffering from conditions such as hers and aims to offer them hope during their recovery.
Running the Cowtown Half Marathon
Antay, 25, explained that she was challenged with a bet and told she couldn't run the Cowtown Half Marathon. "I am on the hard-headed side." she said, and decided to enter to prove to everyone else and herself that she could run it. While Antay was a runner and athlete before her heart condition, she knew this would be an extraordinary challenge for her.
Before the run, Antay spent time with her cardiologist and adjustments were made to her pacemaker, but they did not have much time to test it. "We didn't know what might happen." On the morning of the race, Antay admitted she was "absolutely terrified." But despite her fears and the extreme cold that morning, Antay raced anyway. "I always say, 'If someone says you can't do it, prove that you can until you can't.'" And that morning, Antay did it. She completed the race entirely pacemaker-dependent with no natural heartbeat of her own.
How did she feel after the race? "It was so satisfying. I was on Cloud 9!" Antay hopes her story will inspire others who have suffered similar medical conditions. "Whether you are 8 or 80, don't let a cardiac device or event define who you are. I see it a lot with patients. But it isn't who you are. If I ever feel sorry for myself, I remember that I am upright and everyday is a gift. I got a second chance."
Antay's story stands to inspire many future cardiac patients and we are very proud to have Antay as a nurse here at North Hills Hospital. We asked Antay if she plans to run another race. "I hope to run a marathon next," she said. We expect that she will succeed at this goal and many others in the years to come.