I was having a “widow-maker”.
No one knew whether I’d survive, or even wake up.
It was halfway through February last year, and for days I’d found myself short of breath when walking short distances and climbing stairs.
I knew I should see my doctor, of course. But I was so busy…I’m sure you can relate.
Still, my symptoms persisted. My husband, Wilf, insisted I needed to see the doctor. I agreed to go the next morning.
February 16th is a day I will never forget. During my morning cup of tea, I felt a stabbing pain in my back. My doctor was concerned about my symptoms. So, he sent me to the St. Boniface Hospital Emergency Department for an electrocardiogram (EKG) test.
Little did I know, I could have been living the last moments of my life.
The EKG technologist, Denise, asked me to stay still for the test. When I couldn’t keep my arms at my sides she said, “I’m worried you’re having a heart attack, Erin.”
“It really hurts,” I gasped. And that’s when I collapsed.
I was having what some call a “widow-maker” heart attack. My aorta was 100% blocked, and my heart was fluttering rapidly. My kidneys shut down. Denise called a hospital Code Blue: cardio-pulmonary arrest. Staff rushed in to save me, and used an automatic CPR device to do chest compressions on me for almost an hour and a half.
After five days in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, I was taken off life support. If I was going to survive, I had to hold my own, and thankfully – I did.
On March 15th, almost one month after I’d been wheeled into St. Boniface Hospital’s Emergency Department, I was discharged.