Posted by lmmedina on 04/26/2020

My brother had a heart attack on March 23, 2020. Paramedics had to perform CPR from the time they got to him until they arrived at the hospital. He was without oxygen to the brain from 6 to 13 minutes. By the Grace of God, he survived. He had surgery to implant a defibrillator. He was just released from the hospital. He has a long road ahead of him. You see, he now has memory loss. I feel helpless. I want to know how I can help him regain some of his memory back. Any advice or suggestions will be a blessing. Thank You.

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Submitted by lpilon on 05/26/2020

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My husband's heart attack was Feb 28, 2020. The paramedics and ICU had to shock him at least twice. My husband swore he rememberes everything, but the weeks that followed we have learned more and more of what he doesn't remember. My adult twin sons and I experienced a level of PTSD from the experience of saving his life and nearly a month in the hospital. As we began to gather as a family following his released home, emotions surfaced intensely from one son in particular and myself. In the days following, my husband finally admitted he didn't fully believe some of what we shared. I only realized this because I asked the right questions, finally, on our drive to ER due to some mild pain from water retention. I told him I was surprised at his lack of emotion in response to our emotional breakdowns the day before. He finally admitted in this private setting that he had no recall of being shocked, felt sure we were confused. And, he didn't understand what we were saying about the 3-day Empella pump installed inside his heart, which saved his life.

Learning what he didn't know, was a huge epithany for all of us. Including my husband. It helped us with all our perspectives. It didn't fix everything but it was a big piece of the puzzle and has helped us adjust our perceptions and work harder to help him process as well.

As more time has passed and he's been willing to listen and accept, we can talk about our experiences more readily. With the COVID-19 shut down and lack of counseling support, it has been important for all of us to meet each other halfway. And as such, as he listens he remembers or at least comes to accept even more so the seriousness of what occurred.

I also noticed as his sleep cycles have smoothed out, his processing and mood has improved a bit.

He trades his LifeVest for an ICD in early June. We, like you, are still new to all this. We have ups and downs, but mostly hope of some level of restoration as we redefine a new normal.