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Thursday, August 18, 2011

One more time...

7:32 p.m. CDT, August 18, 2011

ST. Charles, MO (— An Old Monroe woman is lucky to be alive. Sherry Howard suffered a heart attack but then a series of very fortunate events, including some cool technology, kept her alive. Sherry Howard said, "I feel very lucky to be alive I really do. I wouldn't know what to do without my kids my husband."

Her husband, Doug used C.P.R. when she collapsed more than 2 weeks ago in their Lincoln County Home. He hadn't used C.P.R. in decades. Doug Howard said, "I learned it at St. Charles High in health class, a health class deal I learned it in there and thought I would never use it."Dr. Mark Taber, with SSM Heart Institute, said, "The husband was a crucial component of her successful outcome."

Paramedics airlifted the woman to St. Joseph Health Center in St. Charles. Her doctor quickly opened the blocked artery and inserted a stent. But it she was not responding well and doctors feared her brain would be badly damaged. Dr. Taber added, "It was definitely life or death."Nurses began cooling Sherry's body with hypothermia technology. Her body was wrapped in a device for 24 hours. Her temperature dropped to 90 degrees. It's something medical experts learned from near drownings in cold water. A victim can be submerged for an hour and the frigid water protects the brain. Dr. Taber said, "Almost certainly had it not been for her receiving hypothermia cooling down her body after we put the stent in, her brain would have not survived."

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Now Sherry's prognosis is excellent. She's grateful to the doctors, paramedics and her husband. She said, "I love him very much I'm very glad he did what he did." Her husband said, "Afterwards everyone says I contributed to saving a life I just did what needed to be done." The couple recommends C.P.R. training for everyone.