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Murphy Jensen's Journey: Emphasizing CPR Education and AED Use for Saving Lives

Updated: May 31, 2023

In a recent episode of "At The Heart of It," Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association (AHA), sat down with Murphy Jensen, a former tennis player and survivor of cardiac arrest. Jensen's story is one of resilience and transformation, from battling addiction to facing near-death experiences. Now, he is dedicated to raising awareness about CPR education and increasing the availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to save more lives. This article highlights Jensen's journey and emphasizes the importance of CPR education and AED use in preventing sudden cardiac death.

Murphy Jensen and his brother Luke achieved great success in tennis, winning the '93 French Open and becoming Grand Slam champions. However, behind the scenes, Jensen struggled with anxiety, drug, and alcohol addiction. After a decade of addiction, he realized the need for help and has been sober ever since. But his challenges didn't end there.

In 2003, Murphy Jensen experienced a life-altering event when he fainted while jogging. Diagnosed with myocarditis, an enlarged heart caused by a viral infection, he recovered but carried hidden scars. On the day before his 53rd birthday, while playing an exhibition match against his brother Luke, he suffered a cardiac arrest. Thanks to the quick response of medical professionals and the use of an automated external defibrillator, Murphy's life was saved. This event prompted him to dedicate himself to raising awareness about CPR education and AED placement.

Murphy Jensen's personal journey has taught him valuable lessons. He emphasizes the importance of gratitude and acknowledges the role of love and support in his recovery. Jensen recognizes the impact of his cardiac arrest on not only himself but also his loved ones. Coping strategies such as journaling, gratitude, and asking for help have been instrumental in his healing process.

Jensens Never Quit: The phrase "Jensens never quit" has been a guiding principle in Murphy's life. It represents the determination to never give up, even in the face of challenges. Jensen's perspective has evolved, and he now strives to ensure everyone has access to life-saving services, including CPR, chest compression, and AEDs. His ultimate goal is for every tennis court in America to have an AED and the necessary resources to save lives.

Murphy Jensen has become a passionate advocate for CPR education and AED placement. He highlights the alarming statistics of sudden cardiac arrest, with over 350,000 people in the United States experiencing it each year. Unfortunately, less than 10% of these cases result in survival. Jensen's dream is to create a nation of lifesavers by increasing awareness and accessibility to CPR and AEDs. He envisions every tennis facility and court having an AED, and ultimately, every state equipping police cars with AEDs.

Murphy Jensen has collaborated with renowned scientist and researcher Dr. Joe Wu, who will serve as the volunteer medical leader of the AHA. Jensen's blood donation and involvement in Dr. Wu's research aim to discover the underlying causes of his cardiac arrest and contribute to advancements in heart health for the benefit of others.

Murphy Jensen's remarkable journey from addiction and cardiac arrest to becoming an advocate for CPR education and AED use showcases the power of resilience and the transformative impact of turning personal trauma into empowerment. Through his advocacy and collaboration with the American Heart Association, Jensen is working tirelessly to ensure that more lives can be saved through widespread CPR.


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