Posted by Kathleen on 12/29/2012

I had an SCA Sept 25, 2010. A day I will always remember, thankfully, from the stories of others. I have only to go by what I was told by others at the time. Apparently I said I feel faint and walla was dead. My husband and nephew were in the process of getting my body out of my truck when my son, whose birthday it was and thankfully is a paramedic, arrived and started CPR, who knew that 37 years ago when I gave birth to my son, he would then bring life back to me 37 years later... As soon as he stopped all pulses and heart beats stopped again. Waiting for the ambulance he just kept on with CPR and when the other paramedic and EMT arrived they used the AED. Again I did not maintain a heartrate but they loaded me into the ambulance and continued shocking me. After the 3rd shock they were able to keep my heartrate and with the intubation was taken to ER. Ended up in ICU on a medically induced coma and placed on ice for approx a day and a half. From what I heard they weren't sure what brain function I would have upon waking up as I had been without oxygen somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Like others I have some short term memory loss and many other emotions that I would like to share and have a connection with others. I had a defibrilator implant and since had 1 more SCA and was alone and without the shock would not be here today.
My son took a video of me while in my coma and showed my heart rate rising when people I love would touch me and talk to me and then more video after coming out of my coma. I have to say I am grateful to have the short video but it is rather difficult to view with the patient being myself.
Whoever feels moved to reach out to me and continue a conversation and sharing your experience I would value and appreciate it more than you know.


Submitted by SCAFoundation on 01/04/2013


Hi Kathleen, We are so happy to know you survived your ordeal. Your son is a true hero! We would be happy to interview you about your story. Meanwhile, please feel free to register in the SCA Survivor Network at Once you register, you will be able to reach out to other survivors and share your experiences.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

Hi Kathleen,

Your story of the day you "died" and then your son helped bring you back to life is truly amazing.

I too, am a survivor of SCA. Mine was about 10 years ago and my husband wrote a book about it called "A Heart Too Good to Die".

I don't have any underlying heart problem that they can detect, (they call that idiopathic), but I have an ICD, do you?

It took me quite some time to get over the emotion of it all. I learned to appreciate life so much more, and realized what the important things are! But still sometimes have a little anxiety over knowing "there's something wrong with me" :-(

But, I must say, mostly, I'm grateful to my "saviors" who performed CPR for 12 minutes till the ambulance arrived and to the EMTs who intubated me, shot me up with all kinds of drugs and zapped and zapped me till they got the heartbeat back.

Take care and keep on keeping on!


Submitted by Kathleen on 02/19/2013


Dear Carolyn,
I typed quite a long reply to this very much appreciated letter.
I am not sure what happened or if you even received it as it seemed this site then froze up.
So instead of rewriting what I remember I will wait and see if in fact you did receive the first note I sent you previously this morning.
If not let me know and I will redo what I can.
Thanks so much for writing to me.