“I couldn’t breathe. I was gasping for air. Even though I
was in the hospital, it lasted all night.”
Right before my fortieth birthday I was admitted to the
hospital. Some medicines were giving me side effects. I
was so frightened. The first night I had an asthma attack.
The doctor came into my room to talk to me, but I couldn’t
talk. He tried to show me how to breathe in and out. I tried
so hard to control my breath. They came in and gave me a
shot to help me rest. I fell asleep and slept about two
Waking up I knew I needed to get dressed for the
day. My family was coming from Southern Illinois to
spend the day with me. I put on some makeup for them and
fixed my hair. Suddenly I felt faint and passed out behind
the door to the hall.
The lady sharing my room screamed, pushed the button to
call for help and the doctor came into the room. He shoved
my body aside with the door and hit me in the chest
breaking my breastbone. I had a cardiac arrest and was
Code blue, dead for four minutes. They worked on me
until I came back.
A cardiac arrest is a sudden abrupt loss of heart function.
A patient looses consciousness, stops normal breathing, and
looses blood pressure and pulse. If not treated within five
minutes the patient may not recover.
And I say came back because I had begun to travel through
the tunnel towards the brightest light I had ever seen. My
life began passing beside me as if I were in a bus or
something. I could see through the windows the events that
happened while I was living. My marriage, our first-
born daughter, and the baby I lost early, and adoption of
our two beautiful boys and occurrences with my
parents, in-laws, and family.
Approaching the bright light I prayed every prayer I
learned from childhood to adult.
I thought of my young boys and I needed to
be with them. I believed they needed me.
They weren’t ready for me to leave them. Please Lord,
A voice, “Do you want to stay or go back?”
I answered, “I want to go back.”
I began the trip back so quickly. Thank you Lord, I prayed.
Someone patted me on the cheek, “Open your
eyes Mary, you are fine.”
Everything was a blur until my Mother said,
“You are fine honey.”
“Where am I? What happened?
She said, “You had a cardiac arrest and they broke your
breast bone trying to bring you back.
“It hurts,” I said, holding my chest.
“Don’t cry honey, it hurts, but you must breathe.”
“I can’t, it hurts too much,” I said.
“Please Mary, breathe for Mamma.”
And I did for her; she tried to help, pursing her lips,
breathing in and out slowly to give me life and hope.
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