ST. CLOUD - Nearly 400,000 people of all ages experience Sudden Cardiac arrest every year in the U.S., and the average survival rate is a startlingly low 5%. For those who do survive, the road back to a healthy life can long and difficult.

With this in mind, the medical and arts communities of St. Cloud have partnered with experts from around the world to host the inaugural "Survive and Thrive" conference. It's a 4-day combination of emergency medical workshops, medical technology teach-ins and art and music, with the emphasis on healing after medical trauma.

Dr. Rex Veeder is member of the English Department at SCSU and the event organizer. As a survivor of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Veeder says Sudden Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, and a successful recovery process after something so traumatic involves much more than just medical therapy.

Veeder says the line-up of presenters - including doctors, writers, artists and musicians from all over the world - will be featured in venues throughout SCSU and downtown St. Cloud.

Veeder says all of the presenters share the common goal of helping survivors understand the different pieces in the puzzle of getting back to a healthy life.

The Survive and Thrive committee has also released an anthology of writing, all focused on the topic of healing.  the event kicks off on Wednesday night at SCSU's Ritchse Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.

The list of workshops and performances is extensive - to see for yourself, visit Survive and Thrive's website.