Minnesota Woman With Heart Disease Died 10 Times in Past Two Decades; Here's How She Is Still Alive

A Minnesota Woman with heart disease technically died 10 times in 19 years but she is still alive, according to a report. The retired school teacher suffers from a heart muscle disease that affects one in 500 Americans.

She was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) — a device that jump-starts the heart if it stops beating — when medics diagnosed her in 2003, according to Daily Mail.

Anatomy of the Heart
Representative image Wikimedia Commons

Her Heart Stopped Beating For 18 Seconds

In one of the incidents, her heart suddenly stopped beating for 18 seconds. In the near-death experience, the unidentified mother's electrogram data from the ICD showed that her heart stopped beating for numerous seconds, forcing the device to shock her heart and restore it to its normal beat.

The woman from Duluth in Minnesota was saved more than half a dozen times in the past two decades.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Is Caused By Genetic Mutations

Her case shows the 'power and durability of the devices' for preserving life, according to doctors at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is caused by genetic mutations and medics believe that the disease is passed on through families.

Shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, and light-headedness, are the main symptoms of the disease.

Until the roll-out of ICDs, HCM used to be the most common cause of sudden death. But some of the sufferers have no symptoms and live a normal life.

Medics at Tufts Medical Center wrote in the American Journal of Cardiology that this unique case presentation underscores the power and durability of the ICD for preserving life in patients with HCM. 'Indeed, in our patient, the ICD demonstrated consistent reliability over almost two decades,' according to the report.

Danish footballer Christian Eriksen was also fitted with an ICD after he collapsed when his heart stopped beating for five minutes during a European Championship game against Finland last May, according to Daily Mail.

More to follow

This article was first published on August 15, 2022