“I have no pulse,” 12-year-old Anthony Cole Jr. told a classmate on the playground one September day in 1998. Moments later, Cole collapsed. It took paramedics 13 attempts to restart his heart, which had been stricken by Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a rare condition that features an extra electrical pathway between the heart's upper and lower chambers. When finally resuscitated — his body had been deprived of oxygen for more than four minutes — the formerly active and healthy Cincinnati boy had suffered permanent brain damage. His parents, Linda and Tony Cole, were devastated as they witnessed their son's life altered forever by something they had never heard of. But they didn't give up.
Flash forward a dozen years, and the husband-and-wife team have relayed their family's ordeal in the just-published Resurrecting Anthony: A True Story of Courage & Destination, which they hope those in similar situations can use to “learn how to cope, how to be open and accepting of offered help, and how to advocate for needed services.” Of course, it's also a deeply personal story in which Tom admits, “I realized I must let go of my first Anthony in order to accept and love this new and different one.” The Coles will discuss their story 7 p.m. Thursday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood.
Go here for event details and directions.