Laura: This is my story

Over 300,000 people have their hearts stop suddenly (suffer Sudden Cardiac Arrest or SCA) yearly in

the United States alone. Most survivors return to their home and back to their usual activities. Of these

survivors, many were previously healthy.

Since the AHA Guidelines 2000 we have been taught that for every minute that passes between

collapse and defibrillation, survival rates from witnessed sudden cardiac arrest decrease close to 10%.

When bystander CPR is provided, the decrease in survival rates is more gradual and averages 3% per

minute. That’s like an additional 7 people out of 100 that will survive or 21,000 people per year!

One such person is Laura and this is her story of survival:

In earlier months my boyfriend had taken a CPR training course through his work. On the night of my

sudden cardiac arrest, he began CPR while ringing for an ambulance. Fortunately, they arrived minutes later.

 

Re-establishing blood flow to the vital organs is the single most important factor for successful resuscitation when the duration of cardiac arrest is prolonged.

– Professor Wanchun Tang, MD

 

 

As the ambulance arrived, paramedics soon reached me with a defibrillator. After three shocks, they

got a pulse and escorted me straight to hospital. Upon arrival, the hospital staff were

extremely alert and kept my family updated at all times. Procedures to restore my heart to a normal

rhythm began straight away. I was put into a coma and my body cooled or ‘frozen’ for three days; I was

very poorly. In total, I was in hospital for approximately two weeks. Before having my operation (I was

recommended for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), I remember being in hospital and

watching a documentary about Fabrice Muamba and was stunned! I couldn’t believe I had suffered just

like he did and also share the same birthday! It made me feel more at ease going into my operation to

see people like him still living their life.

After coming out of hospital, I feel so lucky to have a second chance at life, however

I did feel slightly hopeless and very tired but I know this is completely normal. With the help from my

cardiac rehab program, I feel like a new person and I’m now living my life to the full. I couldn’t ask for

more, from the help I have had from family and friends and most of all from my boyfriend for saving my life.

Laura, 2015

Avatar

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter J J Klotunowitch