A first-year nurse in New Hampshire is grateful for life after her heart stopped during a training with colleagues.
Andy Hoang, 23, was excited to attend a November practice session on how to respond to someone in cardiac arrest, but things quickly took a 180.
“We were just going through some general instructions of how the day is going to go, how the scenario is going to played out, and all of a sudden, I started feeling really dizzy and I felt a little nauseous as well,” she told the Associated Press. “So, I turned over to Lisa and I told her that I feel like I need to sit down. And that’s the last thing I remember.”
Hoang went into cardiac arrest.
The nurses started performing chest compressions – not on a mannequin, like planned – but on their new colleague.
“One checked her carotid, one her femoral (arteries), and she did not have a pulse,” instructor Lisa Davenport explained.
A “code blue,” or medical emergency, team was called while the nurses did CPR. Davenport said it was the first time they’d had an emergency like that at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.
“What was really stressful about the situation was that we never had a real code blue in the center,” Davenport said. “We train for them all the time.”
It took about 15 minutes from the time Hoang slumped over to the when they got her on a stretcher and sent her to the emergency department.
“I woke up to a room full of doctors and nurses,” Hoang recalled about the incident that happened about two weeks ago.
It brought them all closer together.
“We basically went through this whole life-or-death experience,” she said.
“It really changed my perspective on how I view life, like ‘Hug your family a little longer,’” Hoang added. “Tell them that you love them, because it might be the last time you get to say it to them. And just cherish life for what you’ve been given. It’s precious, and I didn’t realize how precious it was until I nearly lost it.”