Archive - Aug 2019 - Blog entry

Archive - Aug 2019 - Blog entry

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August 4th

Hiking with defib/pacemaker after aborted sudden cardiac arrest

On March 7, 2019, I was hiking alone in Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. I just finished climbing a tough 2.5 mile section of the trail and was about .5 miles from the trailhead (with a road near it). Suddenly, my heart began that fast pounding and my breathing turned very labored. I leaned over my poles and waited for this to stop. Previously, I had episodes of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia and figured this was more of the same. I was wrong. It did not stop. I clawed at my neck thinking something was caught and then tried to get my pack off with the same thought. I could not unsnap the pack- it was too difficult for some reason. My bladder let lose and then I knew sustained VT would kill me. Becoming an observer (I am academia)- I thought, "I will be the first sibling to die" and "Now I know how I would die." It was very confusing at that point. Tried to sit down and somehow ended up lying in the cold mud of the trail on my left side.

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