Save Date: 4/1/1999
Activity: At home
April 1, 1999 was going to be a special day for my family. I just didn't know how special until the end of the day! That evening was our daughter's First Communion supper at our church. It was also April Fool's Day and I knew how fun it would be at school with the children playing jokes on their teachers. I had experienced that for many years. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up flowers for Cortney before going home. We ate supper at the church and enjoyed the special service of dedication and celebration of this milestone in her life. When we got home, all four of us went to different parts of the house... working on homework, lifting weights, and watching television. I walked up the flight of stairs from our family room and made a telephone call to a teacher friend. That was the last thing I remember...hanging up the phone. I was told by my family later what the next four hours entailed. Cortney heard me fall and came upstairs to find me on the floor by the kitchen counter unconscious. She yelled to my husband, Greg, and he ran upstairs. Greg realized very quickly I had no pulse and told Cortney to call 9-1-1. He immediately administered CPR while Cortney talked on the telephone to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. Greg was having trouble remembering the procedure and noticed the color of blue that comes to a person's lips when oxygen is not present. My son, Chris, was unaware this was all happening as he was lifting weights in the basement and listening to music. He suddenly had an urge to come to the kitchen for some water. He heard noises from his dad and sister and came upstairs to find tears and screams of fear and helplessness. Greg was saying, "I can't get her chest to rise....I can't get her chest to rise."
Suddenly, Chris remembered the CPR course he had just completed the week before in his health class at school. Automatic responses set in and Chris said, "Dad, you have to tilt her head back further...her airway is not open." With his assistance, Greg continued CPR until the rescue and first responders were at our home. Upon assessing the situation quickly, they administered electric shock to my heart and I had a pulse. My life was saved by my family and the electric shock from the AED. The following 13 days in the hospital presented me with new challenges and struggles to find answers. My team of doctors decided to implant a dual chamber pacemaker and defibrillator unit below my left shoulder. I am living with that every day and counting my blessings of good fortune and help from God. I am blessed with good health, a wonderful family, and a renewed love of life!