After dropping off her 5-year-old daughter on one of the first days of kindergarten, Laura Rodriguez experienced dizziness.
She started to perspire as she moved through the hallways of the Arlington, Texas, elementary school. This was illogical and not separation anxiety.
Rodriguez intended to go for a run in the nearby park. However, she could not get rid of whatever was making her feel unwell. A passing teacher asked if she was OK before escorting her to the school nurse.
Taft had a busy morning with parents bringing her medical records because it was the beginning of the school year. Naturally, she paused to look at Rodriguez, who was fit and 34 at the time.
She had normal blood pressure. However, a pulse oximeter revealed a heart rate that was so irregular that Taft believed the apparatus was broken.
When Rodriguez's hands began to seize up, Taft assisted Rodriguez to lay down on a child's bed. Her eyes rolled back as the rest of her body tensed. Taft, a former nurse in charge of the emergency room at a children's hospital, dialed 911 right away.
Rodriguez then ceased breathing. Her heart had stopped.
Taft initiated CPR. Paramedics transported Rodriguez to the hospital after stabilizing him. After that, she was moved to the heart center at the local hospital where she was an ER nurse. Although tests revealed no artery blockages, her heart rate remained irregular.
This article discusses various CPR training and certifications that you can pursue based on your needs.
Finally, a test revealed that her left ventricle, which is responsible for pumping blood to the body's other organs, was the source of the issue. A few days later, medical professionals implanted an ICD in her chest to monitor her heartbeat and shock it back into a rhythm whenever something went wrong.
Doctors discovered what had occurred about six weeks later. Her left ventricle had been colonized by a virus that had entered her bloodstream, producing damage that manifested as cardiac arrest.
Rodriguez moved hesitantly and with caution. Rodriguez would decline Jayla's requests to play or exercise outside because she needed to rest. Even something as basic as reading in bed, which could cause her heart to stop if the book dropped on her chest, made Rodriguez nervous.
Rodriguez became aware that Jayla had been constrained by her own inaction about eight months after her cardiac arrest. Her daughter, formerly active, now preferred to watch more TV. Rodriguez prayed to God, "God, grant me strength to live for my daughter," as this realization set in.
She was becoming healthier, but she still didn't feel good about her appearance. It was rebuilt in tiny steps.
Rodriguez's normal day consisted of her spending hours on the couch after her family assisted her in making a leisurely descent from her bedroom. When they came back, they aided her in going upstairs.
But one day, to her husband's surprise, she began to walk up and down the stairs, took her daughter to dinner, returned to the gym, and eventually went back to work.
Rodriguez's cardiac arrest occurred in August 2006. Her life was obviously changed, but Taft, who had saved her, was also impacted.
Taft remarked, "I suppose she made me realize my own mortality and that anything could happen to anyone."
She trained as a CPR teacher before transitioning to wellness coaching. Her worldview has altered, in addition to her career. Taft became assured that she could do anything.
Rodriguez is currently the nurse manager for the ER. Her daughter is now attending college. Rodriguez enjoys traveling with her husband and usually visits the gym.
She wants to share her experience in order to motivate others and raise awareness of the significance of caring for a sick person's entire family. According to Rodriguez, her ICD has shocked her heart nine times in the 16 years since she got it. Each serves as a reminder that, despite having a damaged heart, she has the tools necessary to survive.
The goal, according to Rodriguez, is to serve as a resource, encourage other survivors and their families, and demonstrate how to start over in life. How do you change in order to advance?