“As with many Sudden Cardiac Arrests, I didn’t have any symptoms – it happened out of nowhere.”
Elisheva’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest came without warning. She had been a runner for many years, and was in great shape – she’d just had a physical a few months before her SCA. She went to catch an early flight at an airport in Boston, and the last thing she remembers was an attendant scanning her ticket, and walking down the connector to the plane. She woke up in the hospital with a ventilator in her mouth.
After her SCA, Elisheva went through lots of testing – including genetic testing – and learned that she has several arrhythmias, which are unidentifiable. She had an ICD put in – which she says is a constant reminder of how her life has changed.
“Gratefulness and grief aren’t mutually exclusive,” she says, noting that while she is extremely grateful to have survived the SCA, it has led to ongoing health problems in her life. “I have a wonderful group of friends, who are an amazing support group. I don’t know what I’d do without them – they’ve saved my life.”
Elisheva’s mission is to educate those around her on what SCA is, including that SCA is different than a heart attack, and can affect anyone – like children and young, healthy adults. “I’m always trying to get people to understand what SCA is, and that it can affect everyone – even children,” she says. “Once you have an SCA, you hear stories of people suddenly dying, and you know what that moment is.”
Elisheva wants to see AEDs spread throughout local communities to help prevent deaths from SCA. The airport where she had her SCA had eleven AEDs, even though it was small – and had performed another SCA save with an AED just a month before Elisheva’s. She particularly wants to see sports teams carry travel AEDs.