Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Experience

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What was your experience with sudden cardiac arrest?
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See what others are saying

Published: May 24

At the age of 42 and female, I was severely tired and complained that my belly hurt. I didn't want to go to work but my 14 year old daughter told me that being tired wasn't a good reason not to go to work. I thank God everyday for her convincing me to go. She said something just told her that I had to go to work. I worked night shift in a hospital. That night I was working in the surgical intensive care unit. My shift started at 1900. Since, I had started complaining that my belly hurt we called the pharmacy and asked for some Tums. While waiting on them, I collapsed at the nurses’ station. I had sudden cardiac arrest; I was in ventricular fibrillation. I had no knowledge that I had CAD. However, my CAD was mild but I had a blood clot that caused a severe heart attack the clot was in LAD. Many people call this place the widow maker. Luckily for me God still has something for me to do. I was immediately coded. I got early defibrillation and had a stent put in. After my heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest, my heart went into shock. Then being on a breathing machine and a heart pump to help my heart pump blood to my body and help it rest some. I was also placed in a coma for several days. As I type this I am so thankful to all my co-workers for saving my life. This happened in 12/31/2005. I have no real memory of this but I have been told about it many times. The hospital also lowered my body temperature. The doctor's sent me home on 1/09/2006. My daughter told me that they said I was up walking too much. My life has changed a lot since then. I went from no medications to a bag full. However, they are helping me to feel better. Recovery is slow but it can come. Depression is normal. I hope this gives someone hope. Just start taking Life One Minute at a Time. Every day that someone can do something they couldn't do the day before is progress. Eventually, it all comes together. I still have some memory gone but I can do just about anything that I want today (05/23/2010)..

Published: September 10

My husband (age 55) collapsed at work with cardiac arrest. First responders gave CPR. When he got to the hospital he was non-responsive. He was revived, had stents put in, and placed in intensive care. He was in a coma for four days. He had oxygen depravation, and no one was sure how long he was out before CPR was started. He was taken off life support on the fourth day, and woke up the fifth day and said "hi" to the nurse. He had limited vocabulary and virtually no voluntary motor skills. When he was discharged to a nursing home after two weeks in the hospital, while he came a long way, he still could not function on his own and most times his conversation was gibberish. After 5 weeks in a nursing home with physical, occupational, and speech therapy, he was able to come home. He could dress himself, feed himself, and take care of his own personal hygiene. It is now 11 weeks since his heart attack, and he has completed physical and occupational therapy. He continues with speech therapy, but his memory is coming back, he knows he has lost some, is learning to read and write again, and can drive short distances. His speech is slurry at times, but he always makes sense. What happened to my husband is a miracle. There is no other explanation. He was a smoker all his life, but drank little. He had an active lifestyle and had no warning of heart problems. He did, however, avoid going to the doctor and practicing preventive medicine. His family doctor is very pleased with his progress and is amazed at his recovery in such a short time. Our families and I are still praying for a full recovery. What a roller coaster ride it was for me (his wife), especially the first two weeks; from going to giving his organs away and planning his funeral to having him at home now and functioning well and everything that happened in between. Sometimes when suffering comes to your door, you have to realize every person is different. The intensive care doctor, cardiologist, and neurologist all told me this, and they were right, although they were not very optimistic. I am sure hundred and hundreds of prayers contributed to his awakening and recovering so far -- and he's not done yet!.