Barbara Tibbitts

Save Date: 11/22/1999
Activity: In parking lot

On November 22, 1999 my husband and I were going out to dinner. As we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, my husband reports I said, "I feel a rush." When he turned to ask me what I meant, he found me staring straight ahead.

When he checked for breathing and my pulse, he could find none.

He gave me two quick breaths and ran into the restaurant and instructed them to call 911. He returned to our car, pulled me out onto the lot and began CPR. A woman informed my husband she had called 9-1-1 from her cell phone. He asked her if she knew CPR and she responded she did.

My two "angels" continued CPR until the fire department ambulance arrived. They hooked me up to a defibrillator and my heart responded to the first jolt. I was transported to a nearby hospital where I suffered several seizures and fell into a coma.

Our children were notified of my collapse and rushed to our sides. My oldest daughter is an emergency department nurse and knew the chances were I would not survive an SCA and also knew I would not want to survive if I was left with severe brain damage. A DNR order was discussed, but not given to the hospital because I came out of the coma after 36 hours.

All medical test revealed no underlying physical reasons for the arrest. I was transported to another hospital where a defibrillator was implanted in my chest. I have no memory of the event, my 10 day stay in the hospital or the first day home. I do suffer some memory loss and have to take medication to avoid further seizures.

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