FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — October 16 is World Restart a Heart Day, a global initiative to increase awareness about the importance of knowing CPR.

In October 2020, Brian Christianson of Bentonville went into cardiac arrest multiple times and EMTs performed CPR on him for more than 20 minutes. He explains why it’s so valuable to know CPR.

“You never know when you’re going to be put in a situation where you need to save someone’s life,” Christianson said. “It could be a family member. It could be a stranger. You just don’t know.”

Christianson went on to have a heart transplant. His donor number was 879.

  • Brian Christianson hearing his new heart for the first time
  • Brian Christianson first day home
  • Brian Christianson running before transplant
  • Brian Christianson 2021
  • Christianson family 2021

“It’s the joy of being alive, right? And obviously more times with my wife and my kids, but then there’s the flip side of it. For me to be here, somebody is not,” Christianson said.

Christianson says his new heart didn’t work when it was first put in. It took two days for it to start.

He ended up spending about a month and a half in the hospital.

The American Heart Association says immediate CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

More information on how to give CPR can be found here.