Disturbing images show a two-year-old who is currently ‘dying’ in her mother’s arms because her heart stops beating if she gets upset.
Bethany Davis was filmed limply during the bizarre episode for her mother, Natalie Davis, 31, puts her on the floor.
After a Bethany wakes up for a few seconds and starts to cry.
The incident, recorded on a “nanny cam” at the family’s home in Mesa, Arizona, is one of only 12 occasions when her heart stops beating like that.
Anxiety, sadness or pain can interrupt signals between Bethany’s otherwise healthy brain and heart, causing her to faint and stop her heart.
In November 2019, the toddler was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope, causing her to lose consciousness in response to a trigger.
This then leads to a sinus stop or pause, where the sinus node in the heart stops generating the electrical impulses that make the heart beat.
A medical device has registered that her heart stops for a maximum of five seconds. With longer attacks, Mrs. Davis and her husband Paul Davis, 33, watched with horror as their little girl turns blue and convulses her “stiff” body.
Now the concerned parents are afraid to tell their daughter or allow her to play with her brothers and sisters or in a daycare without being there.
The two-year-old Bethany Davis, who is currently ‘dying’ in her mother’s arms, shows disturbing images because her heart stops beating if she gets upset. Natalie Davis, 31, lays her daughter on the floor so she can recover
This shocking incident is only one of the twelve times that Bethany, from Mesa Arizona, has “died” because her heart has stopped beating. Cardiological tests (photo) have shown that fear, sadness or pain can cause miscommunication between Bethany’s otherwise healthy heart and brain, causing her to faint and stop her heart
Mrs. Davis and her husband Paul Davis, 33, parents up to five children, are worried that their toddler will be deprived of her childhood, because they cannot help but panic when she wants to run or play
Mrs. Davis, a full-time mother, said: “It’s the scariest thing. My child is lifeless in my arms and I cannot help her.
“When the episodes first started, I would go into full panic mode and cry out my eyes.
“I’ve always considered myself a calm person, but I’d be the crazy person calling 911 and they should ask me to calm down because they couldn’t understand me.”
‘Before an episode, Bethany gets this panicked look on her face and she just stops breathing. Her whole body becomes stiff and she turns blue and sometimes she starts to yank.
“Her heart has stopped 12 times, we know that. It is activated when she gets scared or injured and it can be a big or a small thing that causes it.
‘You can’t surprise her or even shout her name too loudly. I’m too scared to ever tell her. “
Bethany was completely healthy and happy until her first attack in May last year after she had bumped her head while playing with her three-year-old sister Jude.
After running to her, Mrs. Davis suddenly saw Bethany stop crying, stop breathing and collapse, so she frantically called for an ambulance.
She said, “I will never forget the first time Bethany had forgotten an episode. It was just like any other little bulge and she started crying and suddenly she just stopped crying.
The Bethany episode started when she got upset and started crying
Mrs. Davis cradles and lays her daughter on the floor (photo) as she has done many times before. After a few seconds, Bethany starts to cry
“Her mouth fell open and she stopped making a noise and then just stopped breathing.”
When the ambulance arrived just three minutes later, Bethany was back to normal and tests showed that her vital functions were good.
After a trip to urgent care, doctors set the episode as a breathtaking spell and told Mr. and Mrs. Davis not to worry, because Bethany was likely to “grow out of it.”
After another incident in early September, Bethany was referred to a neurologist who could not find anything wrong with the little girl’s brain, which led him to the same conclusion.
It is not uncommon for children to hold their breath when they are scared or upset, and some may take so long to faint.
Bethany has always been completely healthy and happy until her first attack in May of last year after she hit her head while playing with her sister Jude, three. She hit her head and suddenly collapsed, something doctors put down on a “breath-holding spell”
Bethany’s parents described the fear of hearing their children calling for them because “Bethany’s is dead” when she has had an episode for her frightened and confused brothers and sisters. L-R, Triston Matthews, 13, Bethany, Jude Davis, three, and Lily Davis, 10
WHAT IS VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE AND SINUS PAUSE?
Vasovagal syncopy is common and can affect anyone. It means that the blood pressure becomes too low and the patient faints.
It is thought that between 1.8 and four percent of people suffer from fainting and vasovagal syncope is the most common.
Although the exact cause is not fully understood, it is often a temporary problem that affects the autonomic nervous system – the body’s control center.
Certain triggers affect the nerve messages, reducing the heart rate and blood pressure.
This allows the person to feel weak, nauseous, sweaty and light-headed, which can then lead to loss of consciousness. This can be done without any warning.
Sinus stop or pause, in which a part of the heart called the sinus node does not generate electrical impulses, can take a few seconds to a few minutes.
Electrical impulses from the sinus node normally stimulate the contraction of the heart tissue and thus the beating of the heart. If these impulses are not generated, the heart stops beating. The signals are usually restored within a few seconds.
Mrs. Davis said: “The second time she walked upset with me with her arms outstretched ready for a hug and she just collapsed and turned blue.
“When the hospital and the neurologist told us they were holding their breath and they would grow out of it, I felt like a crazy person because I knew something else was going on.
“It was as if we were told that there was nothing they could do and Bethany would continue to keep these episodes.”
Mrs. Davis was convinced that something more was going on and urged Bethany to be referred to a cardiologist.
Tests revealed a disruption in communication between Bethany’s heart and brain when she experienced even the slightest amount of anxiety or pain.
Mrs. Davis said: “When we got the referral to the cardiologist, it was a huge relief because he didn’t think it was holding his breath and he took it seriously, but didn’t think it was a little too serious.
“Then he called to tell us they had recorded that Bethany’s heart had stopped for 4.8 seconds during an episode and 2.7 seconds while she was sleeping and it frightened me.
“Such a small number of seconds doesn’t seem normal, but if your baby’s heart stops, that’s very important.
“It’s like a reset button. There is miscommunication between her brain and her heart and her heart stops. Then her brain sends a signal to get it going again. ”
Bethany was diagnosed in November with a form of fainting called vasovagal syncope.
A medical device has registered that Bethany’s heart stops for a maximum of five seconds. She is pictured with her sister, Judas, three
Tests (photo) revealed a disruption in communication between Bethany’s heart and brain when she experiences even the smallest amount of anxiety or pain
Bethany underwent surgery on 3 January to place a loop recorder implant in her breast to feed medical information 24/7 about Bethany’s heartbeat
It causes the body to react too strongly to certain triggers, such as extreme emotional anxiety, seeing blood or standing for a long time.
The heartbeat slows down, so that the blood pressure becomes lower. This then reduces blood flow to the brain and ensures that the person faints.
This, doctors say, makes her heart stop, a condition known as sinus arrest or break. The sinus node in the heart stops generating the electrical impulses that the heart needs to function.
Electrical impulses from the sinus node normally stimulate the heart tissue to contract and make the organ beat. If these impulses are not generated, the heart stops beating, which can take a few seconds to a few minutes.
Sinus arrest occurs more often in young people when they experience emotional stress.
Bethany underwent surgery on January 3 to place a loop recorder implant in her chest to provide doctors with 24/7 heart rate data.
When the toddler’s heart stops, Mrs. Davis has a special device that she keeps over her daughter’s heart to send a warning to the hospital.
If Bethany’s heart starts to stop for a long time, she may need a pacemaker, but her parents are determined to exhaust all other options before such a “life-changing” operation.
Mrs. Davis said: “We pray that it will not come to that. Bethany’s heart is healthy and if a pacemaker fits, her heart turns to waste. It is a life-changing operation.
“And in the best case, they only last 10 years, so she would need another one at noon and another at 10 p.m. That is a lifetime of major operations. ”
Bethany may need a pacemaker one day. But this is the last option, Mrs. Davis said
Bethany lives with her parents, eldest brother Triston Matthews, 13, sisters Lily Davis, 10, and Jude Davis, three, and baby brother Elijah Davis, seven months.
Bethany’s parents described the fear of hearing their children calling for them because “Bethany’s dead” is when she has had an episode for her frightened and confused brothers and sisters.
Mrs. Davis said: “There have been times when I and Paul have not been in the room and our other children came out screaming” Bethany is dead, she is dead “because she has an episode and they don’t understand. It’s so scary.
“It’s hard for her and it’s hard for our other children because they don’t understand and feel that all our attention is focused on Bethany.
“It’s crap. We can’t send her to daycare and I can’t get a job because I wouldn’t trust anyone else with her.
“I’m always worried about her. It robs her of her youth.
‘If she runs or plays and even stumbles a little, I jump up and gasp because I am afraid she will get an episode.
‘I’m too scared to let her go to the park by my side or go on a date. When she is in her room, I constantly check the camera we have there to check if she’s okay. ”
The parents have cameras installed around their house so that they can follow Bethany at all times and run to her if she suddenly collapses.
Now, Mr. and Mrs. Davis, Bethany wants to get a medical assistance dog trained to alert them to an attack and keep her calm during and after the episodes.
Although a friendly breeder has offered to donate a golden retriever puppy, Mrs. Davis and Mr. Davis, a supervisor, are unable to cover and have the $ 7,000 (£ 5,389) needed for specialist dog training. a fundraising page.
Mrs. Davis said: “Once he has been trained, the dog can alert us for up to 45 minutes before Bethany is likely to have an episode and try to keep her calm.
“During an episode, he will lie on her to hold her by her side so she doesn’t swallow her tongue or suffocate and then remain calm after the episode when she is really disoriented.”
To donate to Bethany’s GoFundMe page click here.