My Life Has Changed a Lot

My Life Has Changed a Lot

Raymond White, Kearney, NE – 45 at time of event (2009)

[Raymond has no recollection of his SCA event and is reliant upon his wife for the following details]

On November 6th, 2009 my husband suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

We got up as usual, had coffee, and planned to go out to eat breakfast. We had gone upstairs to get dressed when I heard him breathing deeply and moaning.

I found him laying on the bed sweating profusely, short of breath and severe chest discomfort radiating down his right arm. I immediately got him downstairs and had my son sit with him while I finished getting dressed. I knew calling EMS would take longer than me driving him into town.

I was headed for town, but only made it just inside the city limits to a trailer court when I had to pull over. It was cold out and I got him in a trailer he had been working on.

I laid him on the floor and called 911. He was still awake but very pale. In seconds it all changed. He quit breathing right before my eyes. I started CPR immediately while still on the phone with dispatcher. He was vomiting and having a seizure so chest compressions was my only option while trying to keep him on his side as needed when vomiting.

A police officer finally arrived, but all he had was a CPR mask, no AED. We worked as a team until EMS arrived. They took over and shocked Raymond twice before loading him into the ambulance.

At the hospital all our kids had gathered. We prayed and prayed. It seemed like a lifetime before they had a heartbeat and blood pressure. Once stabilized Raymond was taken to the cath-lab but no blockages were found. He did have significant heart damage determined by an echocardiogram and also had no kidney function.

He spent 4 days in in ICU on ventilator. They used hypothermic treatment for 24 hours. On the 4th day they were able to slowly wake him.

He was in PCU for 4 more days where he received an ICD. They still aren't sure what caused the SCA only that it must have been an electrical problem.

Raymond is no longer able to work due to the hypoxic brain injury and has recently been approved for disability. We are very blessed to still have him with us. The power of prayer is awesome.

Raymond suffered the following injuries as a result of the loss of circulation.

Frontal/temporal lobe brain injury resulting in short-term, some long term memory loss. I suffer uncontrollable shaking and extremity jerks, speech and thought processing problems. Left leg and arm weakness and headaches. I am able to function ok with activities of daily living. I no longer cook, drive or work.

Before my SCA I had my own construction business which I have turned over to my son because I can no longer work. My wife is the sole provider for our house. She makes sure I get my medications and that I eat when she is at work. I forget to even eat.

My life has changed a lot, but I would rather have the changes than to not be here at all.

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The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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