a pregnant woman holds her stomach

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September 7, 2009 was the day my life changed forever. I was 9 months pregnant. I was sleeping on the couch because I was simply too tired to go up the stairs. I told my husband to go upstairs for a good night sleep because we wouldn’t have too many once the baby was here. Well, he did not listen to me and I’m so thankful. I went into Cardiac Arrest. I was blue. Arnie placed me on the floor and called 911. He started CPR. Seven minutes later the rescue crew arrived and took over. I was shocked two times without any success. The third or fourth time, they got a pulse – a weak one but it was there. I was then rushed to the hospital, my life still uncertain.

They lost me twice in transport, but once again a weak pulse appeared. It was at this point that some more miracles occurred. Although it was a holiday weekend, the area's top doctors were on duty and oversaw my care. Once I was stable they performed a caesarean section and took the baby. She arrived strong. I was admitted into ICU, and then placed in a medically induced coma while my body temperature was kept low to help minimize the brain damage. I was in a coma for several days. Once I was conscious, they implanted an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) to help regulate my heart rate and to shock me in case it happened again.

The first few days after waking were not good. I was not responding well. When I first woke up, I didn't even know I had the baby. But as the days went by, I regained more of my mid-term memory. While I am still unable to remember the trauma and a few weeks around that time, I am doing much better. Ten days after my sudden cardiac arrest my daughter Elizabeth and I went home. The cause behind my sudden cardiac arrest was Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (a form of dilated cardiomyopathy that is defined as deterioration in cardiac function presenting typically between the last month of pregnancy and up to five months postpartum.

My Husband and the Charlotte Rescue Crew at Ladder 26 and Engine 37 are my Heroes!
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