What it is — to die

26.03.2013

 

The stories that you hear about people who have experienced clinical death, usually end with light at the end of the tunnel, memories, meeting with God and enlightenment. This is not something that happened to me …


Six months ago, I was dead.

I do not have memories of the event, but this story retold so many times that I think I also saw it all. I was in the gym a residential complex with a roommate Sam. I was on the treadmill, when he suddenly turned around and told him that I was losing consciousness. I felt weak and fell on the still moving belt, which tore the skin on my knees and pushed me to the floor. Sam was shocked. He called for help. Ran a personal trainer and her ward, called "fast" and Sam helped me do CPR, while my body slowly paled.

I began ventricular fibrillation. "VF» («Vfib»), as it is called many doctors, is a type of arrhythmia — irregular series of electrical signals in the ventricles of the heart. Instead of a normal heartbeat, the walls of the lower chambers randomly in awe, as if in agony. The heart is fast becoming unable to pump blood to other organs. I suffered from the fact that officially, and some disgusting, called "sudden cardiac death."

Emergency doctors arrived and passed slowly along the pool to the gym. How do I explain later, this is the order: they did not want to escape and raise the alarm. When doctors finally got to me, they restored the rhythm of the heart by attaching bands to my stomach and passed a strong electric current through my body. I was told that after the first shock my heart still resided in the arrhythmia. After the second it started to beat smoothly.

Those 4 minutes and 30 seconds, I was clinically dead.

The next two days I spent in a coma, while doctors cooled my body up to 32 degrees in order to avoid brain damage. During this time I developed a pulmonary embolism and pneumonia. Now, every time I visit the doctor, they wonder: "Each of these diseases alone could kill you, it's a miracle that you survived all three!" I survived for hours sitting out on magnetic resonance imaging with an oxygen tube in his nose, three droppers and ten pills a day for several weeks. Sam and both my mother, Laurie and Kerry would not leave me all this time.

The stories that you hear about people who have experienced clinical death, usually end with light at the end of the tunnel, memories, meeting with God and enlightenment. This is not what happened to me.

Once my mind was recovered enough to understand the situation, I sat for hours, staring at hospital walls. I have not been no rethinking life. I have not regretted. Moreover, I could not think about anything, absolutely nothing would change in your life. Solitary confinement in the sterile room with wires hanging from my chest made me think just about everything is in my life that I wanted to return.

Most people I tell this story to think that I was not lucky, because I have had a cardiac arrest at 21. But I do not think so. Only five percent of people who have had ventricular fibrillation outside the hospital survive. Of these, more than half have brain damage. This means that only 2.5 per cent is fully restored. I not only fully recovered, but did so in the company of the closest people to me.

If there is one lesson I learned from this experience, it is not a "full life" or "nothing to regret." This is — to feel happy. The feeling of happiness means that you appreciate things in my life that sometimes go unnoticed. This means that you achieve more than you think you deserve. To feel happy, it takes some humility, and we often lose sight of that.

I should lose everything, to remember how happy I am.

Sash Mackinnon

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