Sunday, July 25th, 2021

Jeff Fanter to share near-death experience

Posted: Friday, March 6, 2020

Jeff Fanter will share his near-death experience, and talk about what a healthy work and life balance look like at this year’s Administrative Professionals’ Day on Wednesday, April 22. The event will be held at the Historic Forks of the Wabash, 3011 W. Park Drive, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $35 to attend.

Fanter has been a part of many defining moments in his life. He currently serves as the vice president for marketing and communications at Ivy Tech Community College. He has been with Ivy Tech since 2003 helping reshape the perception and the community college brand in Indiana for nearly 17 years.

Summer is meant to be one of the happiest and most relaxing parts of the year according to Fanter. It is supposed to be full of road trips, visits to the pool, concerts, sunsets with friends – not breathing machines, thoughts and prayers, heart monitors, tears and tight hugs. It is always supposed to be one of those times where the work and life balance gets easier, where memories are made and more defining moments happen. Defining moments were definitely something Fanter, his wife and two children experienced in the summer of 2018, but for a whole different reason.

In the words of his then 17-year old daughter Alexandria, “there are few points in my life that I have felt completely helpless and lost, but not knowing if my dad would leave the hospital was a whole different level of fear and weakness. In June of 2018 my dad was at work in Indianapolis, when he had a heart attack. To make a long, terrifying, and emotionally draining story short, he had a second heart attack at the hospital that actually stopped his heart and he coded on the table.”

She said she learned more details during the hours and days that she spent in the critical care waiting room. Nobody wanted to scare her younger brother and her when they first got to the hospital, but they quickly learned that something was very wrong and everything was way worse than they thought. She wrote there was no way that she was able to coherently put into words her emotions during those days, when she was told her dad was “touch and go,” and the doctors were not sure what the outcome would be. Even to this day she, and Jeff have trouble talking about the whole experience without fighting back tears.

Back from the Brink is what Fanter calls his presentation, and when he tells his story, it is raw, real and emotional, and if that ever changes that is when he will stop telling it he says. But for now, his belief is if it resonates with just one person in the room, and that person makes just one change or takes one action to better balance the demands of life, including work, then he has accomplished what he set out to do when he walked into the room to share his story.

If you would like to attend the luncheon, RSVP to Steve Kimmel at or call the Chamber office at (260) 356-5300.