Many thanks for capping off the AMTA national convention with your message of hope and inspiration! Sharing your personal experience was the perfect way to bring attendees together with a message that used humor, yet touched their hearts.
– AMTA 2014 National Convention
Emmy award-winning actress, “Oprah” guest, and Huffington Post blogger, Tracey Conway inspires both belly laughs and tears as she relates the true story of her own sudden-death cardiac arrest at the age of 38.
During a live taping of her television sketch comedy show, “Almost Live!,” Conway collapsed onstage. Stunned and riveted, her audience and colleagues participated in the emergency resuscitation that ultimately returned Conway to life through an astonishing chain of events.
Question #24 on the Seattle Fire Department’s Medical Incident Report, filed by responding EMT’s, asks “Patient Condition On Arrival?” and provides only two responses: 1.) Alive and 2.) Dead. On Conway’s form, there is a big circle around Option 2. It’s official. She is one of the less than 9% of sudden cardiac arrest victims to be successfully resuscitated out of hospital with full brain function. Further, Conway is a vibrant, non-smoking, active female – not at all the typical image of someone who would drop dead from heart problems.
Today, crowds continue to be affected by Conway’s powerful and unique programs, “Staying Alive!” and “Drop Dead Gorgeous.” She shares the lessons she learned in those literally heart-stopping moments – not only about heart disease, but also what she has come to value most given a very rare second chance at life, and the changes she has made that apply to virtually all audiences. Whether she’s sharing the irony of dropping dead on a show titled “Almost Live!” or explaining the heart arrhythmia Ventricular Fibrillation using a Cardiac Head Cheerleader, Heather, Conway’s delivery is captivating, effervescent, intimate, and guaranteed to touch hearts, minds, and funny-bones.
An Emmy award-winning actress, Conway appeared on the television sketch comedy “Almost Live!” for ten years, which aired throughout the Pacific Northwest and on the cable network Comedy Central. The popular show earned over 100 regional Emmys and ten prestigious Iris awards, the highest honor bestowed to local programming. Her performing credits include live theatre as well as appearing on HBO and in film. Conway earned BFA and MFA degrees with honors in Theatre from the University of New Mexico and the University of Southern California.
Uniquely poised to address heart disease – our nation’s #1 health threat – Conway inspires both belly laughs and tears as she relates the circumstances and details of her deadly cardiac event and subsequent recovery at age 38. An internationally acclaimed speaker with engagements from Boise to Budapest, she is also penned the opening essay for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Healthy Living: Heart Disease. Sought after for her effervescent yet educated presence, she was selected to serve as a panelist on “Second Opinion,” the national PBS series that shows how doctors navigate their way through tough medical decisions in a way you’ve never seen before. Conway has worked with the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women initiative since 2004, delivering keynotes at over 30 events from Anchorage to West Palm Beach.
Conway enjoys a variety of presentation roles ranging from keynote addresses, to emcee and moderator, to auction host. In her home city of Seattle, she is active in a number of community programs that support heart disease research and education and emergency medical services. A past board member of Seattle’s Hope Heart Institute, Conway currently serves as board president of Seattle Radio Theatre and shares her home with the world’s sweetest Siberian Husky, Ella.
Tracey Conway is “drop dead funny.” Literally. Doubt it? You won’t after hearing about the night this young woman’s heart stopped beating and she collapsed on the set of her television sketch-comedy show from sudden-death cardiac arrest. Talk about a scene stealer! Conway’s presentation inspires both belly laughs and tears as she relates the circumstances and details of her deadly cardiac event and subsequent recovery at age 38. Bringing a lifetime of performing experience to her dynamic presentations, she combines humor and education with the poignant observations of a young woman who has experienced clinical death first-hand, and “returned” to amuse and inspire. Conway is passionate, funny, entertaining – and above all, memorable. Let her tell-it-like-it-is, best-pal style give your audience their wake-up call!
This keynote is devoted to galvanizing audiences to reassess their life and health priorities.
Drop Dead Gorgeous! Program highlights:
* Helpful hints to avoid dropping dead
* Times it’s okay to be seen topless by strangers
* Why “Me, first!” is generous, not selfish
* True or False: Sometimes we are smarter than our doctors
* The Heart Pledge of Allegiance
* Tracey’s personal prescription for optimal Heart Health
Ripping back the privacy curtain on the secrets of a nurse’s life, Emmy-winning comic actress and writer Tracey Conway shines the spotlight on attendees, inviting them to strut their stuff in hilarious skits a la Who’s Line Is It Anyway? It’s well known wickedly dark humor helps nurses through the challenges of a physically, mentally and emotionally demanding career. Sponge Bath! encourages them to “flaunt their freak flag!” offering a safe, inclusive arena to laugh at themselves, their medical colleagues, even (gasp!) patients and their families. Short scenarios shaped and shepherded by professional humorist Tracey are brought to improvised life by the pros who know what truly goes on in medical settings. Whether participating on stage or simply hooting with recognition at their fellow attendees, audiences leave refreshed, energized and with great stories to share back in the break room!
Ideal program for opening or closing general sessions for nurses or care givers.
Other possible titles:
Comic CPR* for Nurses: *CallButtons, PetPeeves and (Good Natured) Ribbing
Or a customized title may be requested based on theme of event.
We’ve all said it at some point: “I’m dead tired.” “My feet are killing me.” “I died of embarrassment.” There are over forty definitions in the dictionary for “dead” while “alive” earns only nine! Hmmm. Apparently, we have death on our minds a lot! Sudden Death, however, doesn’t have to be the end of our stories, nor the worst thing that ever happens to us. Having been clinically dead for over 15 minutes from the fatal heart arrhythmia Ventricular Fibrillation, Tracey Conway has plenty of experience with abrupt change and, literally, shocking turn-arounds. Surprisingly, it was what happened after she died that most deeply affected her life and the lives of those around her. According to Conway, “If you asked me which was more difficult: my sudden death cardiac arrest or losing my job, I’d have to say losing my job! Fortunately, due to that temporary absence, I learned some crucial lessons about what’s truly important.” This keynote presentation outlines methods to embrace rather resist inevitable change – even shocking change – and learn to ride the roller-coaster of life so even the scariest dips have you clamoring to get back on for another go-round.
Ideal audiences: professionals experiencing potential down-sizing, major workplace changes, staff at risk of burn-out, or anyone on the verge of career change or a major workplace transition.
This presentation is often a follow-up or breakout session to Tracey Conway’s popular Drop Dead Gorgeous! keynote speech. It delves more deeply into the emotional aftermath of a life-changing health event. Depression and anxiety are common consequences following major heart surgery, as is a new perception of what the mending body and spirit will withstand.
Though Conway enjoyed an amazingly swift physical recovery, she was surprised to find herself in need of both counseling and drug therapy within a year of her sudden death cardiac arrest. Exploring ways to heal emotionally and mentally is a large part of the chronic patient’s path to resilience and wellness.
In Healing the Broken Heart, Conway shares her 20+ years of expertise as a person living and thriving with a chronic, if well-managed, disease. Drawing on her hallmark humor, she addresses methods for coping with fears and frustrations and honoring achievements that include:
~ establishing a mutual trust for sensitive conversations with healthcare team
~ facing challenges due to an altered medical status
~ embracing life and wellness as fully as possible
In particular, she shares the factors that most concern and influence a patient and their family when making decisions about their on-going care team.
Conway offers this program as a keynote. She also suggests an alternate format that allows for the sponsor of the program to feature local healthcare professionals by inviting them to join her onstage, in an informal discussion including audience Q/A.