Alisa Wright Mari

It was Friday, October 14th, 2010...

We had just gotten off a cruise and were in Miami at my mother-in-law's apartment. We had only been on dry land a couple of hours. My husband tells me that I was near the bathroom and he heard me fall to the floor so he ran to see what had happened. He said that I was passed out on the floor, foaming at the mouth and my eyes were in the back of my head. He did not know CPR at all before that trip but I made him watch it on a Dr. Oz recording right before we left so we could clear out the DVR! Thank God he paid attention and was able to help! He did chest compressions for about 15 minutes while waiting on the paramedics. The guy in charge there was a friend of my nephew's and told my husband this was very bad because I had suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest. They had to shock me with the paddles twice in the apartment, 3 times in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and a few times there. The doctors told my husband to be prepared to call in our family and the chaplain for final prayers.

Of course I don't remember that day much and many days following, but I was in that hospital for 2 weeks. I had aspirated so I had pneumonia, I had renal failure, my brain was swollen so I had temporary amnesia and was intubated for a few days so I was pretty much out of it. My family said I sounded like "10 second Tom" from that movie 50 First Dates and they didn't know whether to laugh or cry! My defibrillator was put in the following Tuesday because my heart function is normal and I don't have Coronary Artery Disease.

There was a problem with my throat a couple of days later so I was again intubated and pumped full of steroids for 48 hours more. They said I had a sub lateral hematoma in the back of my throat (possibly from the first intubation). So anyway that miserable experience was over the weekend and I went home the next Tuesday.

I was very surprised at the emotional aspect of all of this. I mean, I was only 43 years old! I kept thinking, "Why me and what is my purpose in life?". It's hard to make since of it all sometimes but in the end, time goes on and we just fall back into the same old existence we belonged to before.

It has been 2 1/2 years now since my SCA and I haven't had any other heart problems so I praise Jesus for that and for the chance to spend more time with my 2 wonderful grandsons. Most importantly, I pray that everyone will learn CPR because it is well known that we usually perform it on our friends and family! My husband saved my life with the help of God and I will forever be grateful :)

Thank you,

Alisa