Carol Mathewson

Save Date: August 17, 2008

On August 17, 2008, at the age of 56, I participated in the Danskin Triathlon in Seattle. It was a beautiful day and I was very excited. I said goodbye to my daughter and headed for the starting line. That's the last thing I remember until I woke up from a coma three days later.

My family learned that, about 20 yards from the finishing line, I hung on to a man's kayak. He said "Are you OK?" and I said "Yes," then he said "Do you need help?" and I said "No." Then I went under water; I had an SCA, went unconscious, and nearly drowned. Thank God there were many people on surfboards and kayaks that came to my rescue. They got me to shore where two bike medics took over. Then the paramedics and firefighters arrived and took me to Harborview Hospital.

At the hospital they paralyzed me and cooled my body temperature down for 24 hours then brought it back up. I spent 23 days in the hospital, now have a defibrillator and had five months of PT, OT, and Speech therapy. The Speech therapy was because my voice got bad from the tube down my throat and I needed help with cognitive reasoning since I had an anoxic brain injury.

I started back to work on Feb. 4th after passing a nine-hour neuro psych evaluation. I'm working part-time; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for four hours each day, and I will slowly add more time and days as my stamina increases.

I thank God every day for my recovery. I've been told that only three percent of SCA folks live and of those living, they usually don't recover 100 percent ... I'm very blessed!


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