The day my heart stopped beating – 2 August 2010
I look like the average mum. At 45 I have looked after myself (and my family) and am healthy and fit. I walk daily, do yoga weekly, do the odd cycle and hike and run my own business. I love my family and life.
What you can’t see is that I have an electrical heart condition called a ventricular arrhythmia (an irregularity in the bottom chambers of my heart). It was diagnosed in my 40s and life carried on without an intervention or any thought of risk. What I didn’t know back then was that at 42 my heart would stop beating. My life force and the emotional seat of my body would simply cease to beat and my body would slowly shut down.
As it turned out my heart stopped for about 20 minutes. I am here today as one of the few and incredibly fortunate and blessed survivors of sudden cardiac arrest. This was due to the calm intervention of my husband who performed CPR on me in the early hours of the morning until the fire brigade and ambulance arrived. Andrew, the firemen, the paramedics and medical practitioners are the heroes in my story!
Lying in hospital in an induced coma, I had no idea of what had happened or the chaos that surrounded my cardiac event. Our children were 3 and 7 at the time and my Andrew was told that he would have some very dark and tough days ahead and that there was no certainty whether I would survive and if I did, there was a possibility of physical or mental damage.
It is an absolute miracle that I emerged with full capacity, well most days anyway 😉 It was a long road to recovery, rehabilitation and integration back into my usual lifestyle. There were so many challenges and hurdles along the way and it has been an incredible journey of physical and emotional healing. I am filled with gratitude to everyone who helped me on this journey, you know who you are and you will forever join the unsung heroes in my heart. I now have the reassurance of a pacemaker and ICD in my chest and I am blessed to still have the absolute joy and privilege to raise my family and continue to experience my life here on earth.
My experience has revealed to me that in the end there is only love. Love is all that matters.