Ashley Goette of West St. Paul, Minnesota, is compared to a superhero these days, and not just because she's a new mother. (Although her 22 working hours alone would be enough.) Because in just four days, she not only gave birth to her first child, but also saved her husband's life.
It all started last Tuesday around five o'clock in the morning when Mrs. Goette was awakened by her husband Andrew. He seemed to snore. She nudged him and asked him to turn around. He did not answer.
Then she realized he was not snoring at all: he gasped.
"I thought he was dead," said Ms. Goette on Wednesday. "I do not think I really had time to process what was going on."
After about 10 minutes, paramedics came and found that he was not breathing and had no pulse. They shocked his heart and rushed Mr. Goette, 28, to the hospital, where his outlook seemed uncertain.
"He did not wake up and interact with us, so this is always a worrying factor." Alex Teeters, a pulmonary and intensive care physician at United Hospital in St. Paul, said Wednesday.
Soon, a team of doctors approached Mrs. Goette with grim news: Initial tests indicated that Mr. Goette may have suffered serious brain damage. 19659002] "Those first 24 hours were terrible for the family," Dr. Teeters, and the doctors prepared "to Mrs. Goette the possibility that this could not be a good result."
She recalled, "It was beautiful at that time. It was not a question he did not come home."
The hospital sedated Mr. Goette and began to lower his body temperature, which was a full-day procedure should be to induce mild hypothermia and reduce the damage. 19659002] "While they did that, it was the most frightening thing to see," said Mrs. Goette. "His body just wound." The doctors administered a muscle relaxant to prevent involuntary movements.
"I kept my hand over my stomach and told him," We have not had this baby yet. I will wait for you. You will be the first to hold this baby. This will not happen until you're ready, "recalled Mrs. Goette.
On Wednesday, when the trial ended and the reassurance was lifted, Mr. Goette began to move.
A nurse asked him to open his Eyes and, to everyone's surprise, he sat upright and scanned the faces of his family members.
"The screams that came out of his room and the screams were like nothing else," said Mrs. Goette. "No one expected that – it was crazy.
Had Mrs. Goette not acted as quickly as she did, Dr. Teeters said her husband might not have recovered.
"Minutes can do a lot in situations like this," said Dr. Teeters.
Mr Later, Goette learned that he had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a rare condition also shared by his uncle that causes abnormal heart rhythms, and it is even rarer for patients with this syndrome to have a cardiac arrest and suffer, said Dr. Teeters.
The condition is caused by an additional electrical path between the upper and lower chambers of the heart, which is present from birth.
Mr. Goette needed a method to destroy the tissue in his heart that created the inappropriate paths. But then, on Thursday, Mrs. Goette started contracting. Her blood pressure rose. The procedure has been postponed.
She was in labor all night and until Friday, but eventually hospital employees urged her to consider a C-Division. She agreed, and on Friday Lennon was born
. Goette was the first person to hold him.
"I tore open the hospital coat I was wearing and waited patiently for them to walk through the hospital doors so I could put it on my chest," recalls Mr. Goette.
When I saw them for the first time, the most amazing thing I've ever seen was, "said Mrs. Goette," that made me very happy. "
Mr. Goette had his surgery on Monday and Couple are both back home, surrounded by family, as they prepare for life as new parents.
"We are really lucky," said Mrs. Goette.