Survivorlane Ariellemarlowe 27

Levi Stock and his father, Derek, cross the Survivor Lane finish line together at the
Tampa Bay Heart Walk just months after a lightning strike stopped Levi’s heart.

Join the fight against heart disease and stroke at the American Heart Association’s signature event on Nov. 4.

Last year, Levi Stock’s heart stopped beating suddenly when a bolt of lightning coursed through his 11-year-old body. He had been out on the Bay with his parents and was in the process of docking when he was hit.

Luckily, his father, Derek, knew CPR. And it was because of that knowledge that Levi was able to walk as a survivor during last year’s Tampa Bay Heart Walk at Raymond James Stadium.

The Stock family will be back again this year for Heart Walk on Nov. 4. The Heart Walk is the signature fundraising event hosted by the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all.

“Last fall, we were able participate in the Heart Walk, and of course we visited the CPR booth, and I got to watch Levi learn CPR. It was a very powerful moment for me. CPR is the reason my son is here today, and now he has the skills that can help save another person’s life,” Derek said. “We have to get more people trained in CPR because no one in Tampa Bay should ever have to be in a situation of not knowing how to help a loved one.”

This year’s Heart Walk theme is “I Walk to Save Lives,” inviting participants to express, share and be inspired by the reasons why they walk.

Thousands of walkers will come together at Raymond James Stadium to celebrate heart and stroke survivors, honor those they have lost, raise lifesaving funds and encourage heart healthy habits. The Walk will feature Hands-Only CPR demonstrations, interactive and educational activities, a kids’ area, a pet zone, and the Survivor Lane, a moment to celebrate the strength of participating survivors who get to ring their bell as they cross the finish line.

Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death for Americans respectively, and nearly 1 in 100 children in the United States are born with a congenital heart defect each year.

Every walker who joins, every dollar donated means more research, more people trained in lifesaving CPR, more medical breakthroughs and more champions for equitable health.

Visit to register for Heart Walk. The funds raised will support the American Heart Association’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

Additional local Heart Walks include the Suncoast Heart Walk in Bradenton on Nov. 18 and the Polk County Heart Walk in Lakeland on Nov. 4. For information, visit