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Mom of 2 young boys experiences a life-threatening moment, highlights the importance of CPR training

Cardiac arrest and dilated cardiomyopathy survivor LaNysha Adams with her family. From left: Husband David Foss, sons Davidson and Donovan, and LaNysha. (Photo courtesy of LaNysha Adams)

LaNysha Adams of Silver Spring, Maryland, was eagerly awaiting her husband's return with a pizza when her life took an unexpected turn. While lying on the sofa, engrossed in a TV show, she suddenly found herself in a daze. Her husband, David Foss, arrived back home just 15 minutes later to find her in a disoriented state – bloodshot eyes and drooling. Their 3-year-old son, Davidson, was in his crib nearby.

Foss, realizing something was seriously wrong, immediately called 911. Drawing from his job training that included CPR instruction, he carefully placed Adams on the floor and began administering chest compressions. Although he had never performed CPR on a person before, his love for his wife and concern for their two young boys fueled his determination to save her.

As Foss desperately performed the life-saving technique, his mind raced with fear and thoughts of the potential consequences of losing his wife. The arrival of the first responders, eight minutes after the distress call, brought a mix of relief and anxiety. Davidson sobbed as paramedics continued the CPR process. Eventually, Adams was rushed to the hospital, leaving Foss at home to care for their children while consumed by worries about her survival and the potential aftermath of the ordeal.

Six days later, Adams regained consciousness in the intensive care unit, disoriented and terrified. She was unaware of the events that had unfolded or why she found herself in the hospital. Confusion and anger enveloped her as she struggled to comprehend the situation. Adams felt as if she had entered "The Twilight Zone," and the sound of the monitoring machine beeping in rapid succession only intensified her anxiety.

It was revealed to Adams that she had experienced cardiac arrest, but she couldn't grasp the significance of the condition or why it had occurred. At 37 years old, with no family history of heart disease, she was baffled. However, her past diagnosis of postpartum preeclampsia, a condition linked to cardiovascular problems, and a recent battle with COVID-19, which can increase the risk of heart-related issues, provided some clues.

Adams had been grappling with symptoms such as shortness of breath, leg swelling, and an irregular heartbeat. To promote circulation and alleviate swelling, her medical team encouraged her to start walking. Yet, her first attempt ended in a fall, leading to the use of a walker for mobility. After ten days in the hospital, she was finally discharged.

While Adams recuperated, her in-laws had temporarily moved in to support Foss in caring for their children. In their efforts to organize the home, they inadvertently moved Adams' clothes to the attic, which she discovered upon returning. Although she understood their intentions, the sight left her feeling as though she had returned from the brink of death and was not expected to reclaim her place among the living.

A month later, doctors diagnosed Adams with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition characterized by the enlargement and thinning of the heart, leading to compromised pumping function. To address the condition, she received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to monitor her heart rhythm and deliver corrective shocks if necessary.

Motivated to resume her normal life, Adams enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation. This program not only helps patients regain physical strength but also supports their mental well-being. Jeanmarie Gallagher, a clinical exercise physiologist who worked with Adams, emphasized the positive impact of cardiac rehab, stating that it provides peace of mind and allows individuals to exercise without fear of further complications.

Following 11 sessions of cardiac rehab, Adams continued her exercise regimen independently. She purchased an exercise bike and joined a riding group.

LaNysha Adams, a true survivor, owes her second chance at life to her husband's CPR training. Now, she's dedicated to spreading awareness about the importance of CPR training, using her blog and motivational book to empower others. Her remarkable journey serves as a reminder that CPR training can make all the difference in saving lives during emergencies. Source: Learn, Enjoy, and Save Life. Healthforce Training Center offers CPR Training and certifications such as Basic Life Support (BLS), Advance Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advance Life Support (PALS), CPR AED, Pediatric First Aid CPR AED, and First Aid CPR AED.

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