Posted by tessmarie1983 on 02/08/2021
The Heart of the Matter
Ferris and Tess

I am not the same person I was before October 10, 2020.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020, my dog and furbaby, Mr. Big, passed away unexpectedly.

Little did I know in three days, my heart would, literally, break.

Saturday, October 10, 2020, I was out at a farm, two hours from home, arriving at the pumpkin patch when out of nowhere my chest and left arm went into excruciating pain.

My husband called 911, and I was taken to a hospital…two hours from home.

The ER decided to keep me overnight for testing and evaluation since there was some damage to the heart muscle, and while moving me onto a different floor; I went into sudden cardiac arrest, received CPR and AED, and was put on a ventilator in a drug induced coma for 12 hours.

I remember nothing past the time in the ER to waking up after the ventilator was pulled out and now feeling the pain of broken ribs.

I have relied on my support system, best friend, and husband Dan, to tell me all that happened.

I ended up staying four days in the ICU, and as of December 9, 2020, I have an internal defibrillator, surgically implanted to watch over and guard my heart.

No neurological or brain damage.

My heart still has occasional flutters but technically is back to normal. However, what baffles the multi-team of doctors and cardiologists is why I went into cardiac arrest in the first place.

They diagnosed me as having takotsubo / stress cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart disease. Most people who get this, often young and healthy females, do not go into cardiac arrest.

So…Mr. Big’s death touched me so hard that three days later my heart broke.

He was, after all, my first baby with Dan.

My first dog.

He taught me how to love and care for someone other than myself; how to prep to care for a little human.

He was there with me through infertility.

Through my miscarriage.

Through my pregnancy.

He was there when my water broke.

He was there when I got home with Ferris.

When I left CBS to start my own company and become an author.

He was with me for 11 years of memories and then suddenly gone.

And there I was…now fighting for my own life at 37 years old.

Healthy, a marathon runner, never done drugs, not overweight, low blood pressure, no history of heart disease, and no preexisting conditions.

A medical mystery.

And yet, I get another chance to be alive.

If there is anything I continue to advocate and teach Ferris it is that we are not exempt from anything.

Don’t you ever think the world owes you because it doesn’t. The world doesn’t owe you a thing.

Which is why I will now add this recent chain of events as new pages in my story.

Because we are strongest when we have no other choice.

I have a Beanie Baby ghost named Spooky that was given to me when I was in the hospital with an allergic reaction back in high school. It was a gift from the after-school employment I had working for my Dad, to remind me that I got through a scary event and people were thinking of me.

I decided that I would no longer only have it out for Halloween decor, as I need to see it and celebrate getting through life’s scariest moments, all year round. And I choose to share this story with you, to put this down in writing, because I need to remember these moments as I wake up, each new day, feeling every breath I am gifted to take.

Instead of crying why me, I am now thankful and grateful to God that it was me who survived.

Like infertility, miscarriage, and now my heart health, they do not define me, but help to create the woman I am continually growing into and becoming.

Because every