Valentine’s Day is a special day for many – but special for a couple who thought they couldn’t see it together

Alejandra Avila and Jorge Arraya from Molesey, Surrey just turned 20 last summer Wedding anniversary celebrated when the disaster struck

It was August, between coronavirus lockdowns, when Alejandra, mother of two, had a heart attack and then went into cardiac arrest

“That day we spent a day with the neighbors playing paddle, which is a bit like tennis,” the 46-year-old told MetrocoUnited Kingdom

“After the match, my husband and I went to her house for a drink and a nibble

“When I got there, I remember not feeling well and telling them, but without being overly concerned as the pain was not intense at all”

She said she didn’t remember much of what happened next, but was told she went to the sofa to lie down and her neighbor gave her an indigestion pill then she and her husband went Went home to prepare for bed

“As I lay down and tried to relax, my husband said he would take me to the hospital if I wasn’t feeling well in five minutes,” added Alejandra

“Those words probably helped me relax a bit, but when I closed my eyes I asked him to stay with me and touch my face because it made me feel better

“Within seconds, she passed out and stopped breathing,” he said “Her heart stopped and she had no pulse

“Luckily I was right next to her when this happened and I could tell that something was very wrong”

He said that although “nothing prepares you for this moment,” he almost instinctively managed to roll her onto her side, grab his phone and dial 999

“Next, I was told by the operator to start CPR,” he added

“That shouldn’t have happened, but it was. My two teenagers came to my aid and we put them on the floor

“I quickly jumped up, folded my hands, and started chest compressing to the rhythm of the 999 operator who repeatedly counted to four and the time of each nudge I gave her chest with whatever I had , highlighted ‘

It took Jorge nine minutes to make the call for a paramedic to insert a hose into his wife’s airway

“They took over, put her on a defibrillator, shocked her, and restarted her heart right there on my bedroom floor,” he added

“These four people worked like you or me for over 20 minutes, quietly and procedurally making a cup of tea, all under heavy pressure from my family who screamed and cried”

Some people may feel minimal pain, similar to indigestion women, and the elderly may occasionally experience no pain at all

After her heart restarted, Alejandra was rushed to the hospital and the doctors did an emergency angiogram at around 2am

They discovered a 99% blockage in the main left coronary artery of their heart and had to insert a stent into their artery to restore blood flow

“Without Jorge and my sons I wouldn’t be here today,” said Alejandra

She said she had “recovered physically well” – with no scars or heart failure – but would have to take medication for the rest of her life

“I still have pain from broken ribs from the CPR and side effects from the medication – but that’s a very small price to pay to be here,” added Alejandra

“But psychologically it was much more difficult,” she said, “I was scared and was scared that it would happen again”

“I’m usually a very calm person when it comes to health issues, but I’ve been to A&E 3 times since asking to be checked because I thought I might have another heart attack”

“I still have sleepless nights, mood swings, anxiety, and so many other side effects that I’m still trying to get over them”’

Alejandra is now looking to raise awareness of heart health after looking back at her symptoms before her cardiac arrest. Her father died of a heart attack more than three years ago

“When I think back, I felt a little breathless climbing the stairs and I often got up abruptly in the middle of the night to try to catch my breath. At some point I thought I would just check out”

She went to her GP and then to the hospital and had multiple tests. An electrocardiogram concluded that she had a “non-specific abnormality”

But she warned “Chest pain is serious” The NHS recommends calling 999 if chest pain spreads throughout the body, if it feels tight or heavy, if it feels sweaty or short of breath, or if it lasts more than 15 minutes

Speaking of the couple’s Valentine’s Day celebration, Alejandra said, “We don’t have any special Valentine’s Day plans per se, we’re going to make homemade sushi. We’ve done it a couple of times in the past when our boys were younger so we’ll see if they enjoy it , now they’re teenagers!

“I will probably get another thank you card for my great husband, whom I can’t thank enough for saving my life”

He coped with the situation so incredibly well and informed all family members and friends so calmly I really admire him. He is my eternal hero ’

There are more than 30 in the UK each year000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and the chances of survival are one in ten. In some cases, CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chances of survival – it’s a life-saving skill that takes only 30 minutes to learn

Valentine’s Day

World News – GB – Couple celebrates Valentine’s Day after husband uses CPR to save his wife’s life