This story isn’t one that you hear all the time. When you hear of someone who has a “big heart” – you think of generosity, selflessness, and kindness, and while that applies to Omar Carter, his diagnosis of a “big heart” meant something completely different. Doctors diagnosed Omar with an enlarged heart, meaning his heart was too big for his body.
He was later cleared to continue playing basketball and his career excelled. Omar played throughout high school, was an all-conference player at Appalachian State University, and then continued his career playing overseas in several countries including Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Then in the blink of an eye, Omar’s professional basketball career was over. His heart stopped while playing basketball at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte on July 11, 2013.
He lay on the floor unconscious receiving CPR for 13 minutes until an emergency transport arrived. He later wound up in the hospital on life support and in a medically-induced coma. His life changed forever. Statistics show that 90% of people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest do not survive. Omar was in a very small number of people who are blessed enough to receive immediate attention. Overcoming the odds for Omar meant surviving SCA when only 10% of victims do!
“It all stopped on the court. If I had died at that time, that’s how I would have wanted to go. Basketball has been my love. I never question God, but it’s difficult to have to stop playing so suddenly.” – Omar Carter
Using Omar’s miracle to his advantage, he founded the OC Foundation to raise awareness for sudden cardiac arrest. He turned his passion for helping others to actions and is making it his mission to prevent families from suffering this type of tragedy due to a lack of awareness, screening or access to immediate medical attention. The Charity focuses on the training of athletes and families in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the use of automated external defibrillators (AED), and cardiovascular education. In just 12 short months, Omar has established a voice in the community by partnering with billion dollar companies like Carolinas Healthcare System.
WE WANT TO BE A LEADER IN THE CRUSADE TO EDUCATE MISSIONS ON CPR. Our materials and training sessions educate with engaging activities and easy to learn CPR lessons. Studies have shown that being trained in compression-only CPR can make the lifesaving difference when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest. The need for this education and training is increasingly important as more than 340,000 people in the US suffer SCA every year and less than 10% survive. Our goal is to increase that statistic by promoting training to raise the number of bystanders who are able to respond. We want to teach people how to help save lives.
We can do this by:
• Providing more cardiovascular education to youth and athletes
• Leveraging resources to promote successful partnerships centered around cardiovascular health
• Increasing access and education about lifesaving equipment
• Engaging in macro and micro conversations about the risks/statistics related to cardiovascular health in youth and athletes
The Omar Carter Charity is committed to raising awareness to help the public become more familiar with what Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is, how it affects people, and how we can equip them with the training possible to save lives.
Although October is officially Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, the OC Charity raises awareness all year long. We utilize our partnerships to host events that engage the community in cardiovascular health issues. We are focused on making it possible and convenient to learn CPR, obtain free physicals, and have access to blood pressure checks.
We are available to speak at conferences, events, schools and to provide CPR demonstrations for your business, organization or seminar.
We lead with our hearts.
Our organization understands that we don’t have the solutions to the extinction of SCA – we know that true advances come from the people who live with the challenge of heart conditions daily. Those people that have a voice and deserve a platform to be heard. Our goal is to uplift those individuals and provide the necessary support to live out loud in a bountiful life after SCA.
The meaning of the word philanthropy is literally “love of humanity”.