Posted by ssuhippie2 on 04/03/2012

Hello All,

I'm very grateful to have been accepted to this site and hope to find some advice from those who have been here longer.

My mother suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in 2008. By the grace of God and a great amount of luck, she's still here with us. She surrvived with minimal brain damage thaks to therapeutic hypothermia. She now has an internal defibrillator.

At the time of her hospitalization, all they were able to tell us was that the cause of her Cardiac Arrest was idopathic. She has a slightly enlarged left ventricle, but they were unsure if this was the cause of her Cardiac Arrest, or if this was the result of the Cardiac Arrest. I'm sure there are many of you out there who have recieved such ambiguous answers. It's especially frustrating for me as I work in the medical field and although I know that medicine can only explain so much, I would greatly appreciate an answer other than "I don't know."

Less than a month ago, my mom was walking home from her mailbox when she experienced a sudden sharp pain in her chest. The pain was enough to cause her to fall forward, fracturing a bone in her wrist and 3 ribs. It took her quite some time to get back up and during that period she was lying half in the street. She has promised never to go anywhere without her cell phone again. Her EKG, blood work and Echocardiogram all came back normal. The read-out from her difrillator showed that it had not been triggered. And once again, the diagnosis was idiopathic chest pain.

This episode terrified me. I still have nightmares about her initial event; the 2 weeks we spent in the hospital with her, seeing her hooked up to a ventilator, watching her shiver while they lowered her body temperature, the 48 hours in a medically induced coma. Since that time all of her subsequent exams have been normal and encouraging. This latest event was bolt out of the blue and I am very shaken. I was wondering if anyone had experienced anything similar, and how they cope. Really any suggestions for coping skills would be greatly appreciated. I have the burden of science weighing down on me, and science tells me that she had a 90% chance of leaving us. I don't know how much more my heart can take watching her struggle with hers.

Thank you for listening,


Submitted by SCAFoundation on 04/03/2012


Hi Molly, Thank you for sharing the story about your mother and your struggles. Many of the survivors in our network were told the cause of their cardiac arrest was idiopathic. Perhaps they will be able to offer some suggestions.