A real patient story

On February 10th, 2020, I had a Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) cardiac arrest at home.

However, my memory doesn’t start until I awoke in the ICU on February 24th.

My family were at my bedside and told me that due to the cardiac arrest, I had suffered aspiration pneumonia, sepsis and a stage 3 acute kidney injury which required dialysis.

During my ICU stay, my family were told I had a slim chance of survival.

The doctors had even put a Do Not Resuscitate direction in my medical notes which would save me going through more CPR or shocks to restart my heart again.

Once off the ventilator, I was able to be moved to a cardiac ward to slowly rebuild my strength. I still couldn’t understand exactly what had happened but, thankfully, the carers were able to support me both, physically and emotionally, too. I had an ICD implanted on March 9th, 2020, which was only month after my cardiac arrest and was able to leave the hospital on March 16th, just in time for the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 1st, which was only two weeks after I made it back home from my stay at the hospital, I awoke at 1:30 AM in so much pain, I could hardly speak! My son called the ambulance, and I was rushed back to the hospital on another blue light ambulance trip. Once at the hospital, more tests were conducted once again. While the consultant cardiologist attempted to run another angiogram, he had to stop almost immediately due to my heart experiencing extreme coronary artery spasms and at last, a clear diagnosis was discovered!

Since April 2020, I have been working on my physical recovery. Although my progress may be slow, I am improving. Looking back, I feel extremely lucky to be alive! I use the art of quilling to help focus my mind and have presented some of my larger pieces as gifts to the amazing people that saved my life. I would like to share a few words of encouragement for anyone else going through this crisis right now, I hope my story will show that even when only given a slim chance of survival, there is always hope. I know my family and I will be forever grateful for this second chance!

Suzanne, aged 53

  United Kingdom

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