Ohio man survives cardiac arrest, starts successful business amid pandemic

‘I shouldn’t be here,’ business owner says of cardiac arrest

Starting your own business is difficult even without a global pandemic.
Starting your own business is difficult even without a global pandemic.

SYLVANIA, Ohio – Starting your own business is difficult even without a global pandemic.

For Collett Coffeee Company-owner Keith Collett, beating the odds for another major hurdle has made his recent success even more satisfying.

When Collett first had the idea to start up his own craft coffee truck, he could have never anticipated the obstacles he’d face along the way.

”It’s been pretty crazy,” Collett recalled. “Surprisingly, it’s been really well received by the city of Toledo.”

Collett launched the company in the spring when lockdown restrictions were lifted. While starting a new business during the pandemic was a struggle, it wasn’t the hardest thing he’s ever had to overcome.

”I shouldn’t be here today. 90% of people who go through what I went through don’t make it,” Collett said. “Of the 10% that do live, only 1% survive with no brain damage.”

About two years ago, he went into sudden cardiac arrest.

”I stood up from the couch, looked at my wife, said ‘I think I’m going to pass out,’ and then I just went into sudden cardiac arrest,” Collett said. “There’s no explanation still to this day. I have a defibrillator and pacemaker in my chest, ended up going through 48 hours of therapeutic hypothermia where they had to cool me down and warm me up.”

After beating the odds, Collett decided he would use his family name to share the uplifting story and inspire others during a time when we could all use a pick-me-up.

”Our last name actually means ‘of victorious people’ in its origins and so we built the phrase ‘People of Victory’ into our brand to tell that story,” Collett said. “If we can build a business on the heels of going through great trauma, and now in the middle of a pandemic, then anybody can do whatever they want to do.”

The Collett Coffee Truck does private events like weddings and corporate gatherings, but also does pop-up shops around his home town in Ohio.

More information -- such as where the truck will go next -- can be found on the company’s official Facebook page here.


About the Authors:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.