A teenage girl who suffered a heart attack in an enclosed bathroom and had her brain starved of oxygen overcame her near-death experience to live the life she had always dreamed of.
Jessica Cofield was 17 when she started to feel tired all the time and had trouble breathing.
The Melbourne woman, now 20, initially thought she was suffering from asthma, given the long history of her family with the disease.
However, she was worried enough that she went to a hospital to undergo tests to find out the cause of her problems.
Jessica Cofield was 17 when she started to feel tired all the time and had trouble breathing
The Melbourne woman initially rejected her illness as asthma, given the long history of her family with the illness, but she eventually went to the hospital to undergo tests to find out the cause of her health problems.
On the first night in the hospital, she went to the bathroom, tied with heart monitors and the door locked for privacy.
Mrs. Cofield then went into cardiac arrest and hit her head when hospital staff tried desperately to get into the bathroom – and she went into her brain for 15 minutes without oxygen.
& # 39; When I was in the induced coma, the doctors and the cardiologist didn't know if it was something I could wake up to, let alone make me a full recovery & # 39 ;, she told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; I went without oxygen for 10-15 minutes and with any brain injury that was different, they couldn't tell how independent I could ever be. & # 39;
Mrs. Cofield said she did not realize at first how many of her hardships she would have – she believed that within three months she would be able to return to life as she knew it.
& # 39; When I woke up [from the coma], it took me much longer to do things like sitting [in bed] 30 minutes and assisting four people, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; It was really long, slow and difficult. Everything that I took for granted became increasingly difficult. Nothing was easy. & # 39;
On the first night in the hospital she got up to go to the bathroom, tied with heart monitors and the door locked for privacy
When she went home, she thought she could be more independent, but even things like lifting a kettle was a lot for her.
& # 39; When I got home, I was still so limited to what I could do. Mother was my backbone, she did everything I could not do myself – showering, making breakfast, closing car doors and opening.
& # 39; I was so tired of being so dependent on everyone around me. Even my 8-year-old sisters at that time helped me to do everything. & # 39;
Mrs. Cofield said that when she moved, she asked her doctor if she could parachute on her 18th birthday and trip, but both were completely excluded.
She said that this discouragement meant she no longer actively participated in her recovery.
Mrs. Cofield then went into a cardiac arrest and hit her head while the hospital staff tried to get into the bathroom – and she spent 15 minutes getting oxygen to her brain
& # 39; While I was in the hospital, I gave up and stopped trying to get better. I did not see the point of getting better if there was no life to get better for it, & she said.
& # 39; After having stopped exercising for weeks and not getting stronger and asking that visitors would stop coming – I just stopped trying everything.
& # 39; After going through that mental state, it is not worth it or you are unable to do it – you just need something to look forward to and look forward to, that is not surgery or a hospital visit & # 39;
She said her friend told her she was getting married in Mexico – and Mrs. Cofield was determined to go, now convinced she could live the life she wanted.
& # 39; Then I realized that one day I have to make that, I never know when my last will be & # 39 ;, she said.
& # 39; I didn't have to wait until anything ever happened, I had to do this day myself. & # 39;
Mrs. Cofield said that when she entered departments she asked her doctor if she could go skydiving on her 18th birthday and traveling, but they were both excluded
She started to train relentlessly – go to the gym, do her physiotherapy and train her brain. Mrs. Cofield was determined to go and ask her doctor to approve the trip.
She didn't talk to her doctor until the day before she left for Mexico, afraid she would say no like she had in the past.
But Cofield received the check mark of approval she wanted and was able to attend her friend's wedding.
She started training like crazy – going to the gym, doing physical therapy and training her brain. Mrs. Cofield was determined to go and ask her doctor to approve the trip. Depicted at her boyfriend's wedding
Mrs. Cofield said that going through customs with her medication and defibrillator can be a difficult achievement – she can't go through metal detectors and is forced to explain in the language of the country in which she is.
& # 39; It will never be less uncomfortable – but one day I won't be fooled by it & # 39 ;, she laughed.
Her future goal is to live in Europe, but she has many hoops to jump through.
She said that her heart needs to be checked for at least a year to see how it interacts with the new drug that it needs.
She said her friend told her she was getting married in Mexico – and Mrs. Cofield was determined to go, now convinced she could live the life she wanted
& # 39; I need enough medicine to last for a year. I just need to make sure I am willing to take the risk if something goes wrong, & she said.
& # 39; No foreign doctor knows my medical records and my heart will not be strong enough to make the flight home when I get sick.
& # 39; I have to accept the risk and trust that doctors can consult my files, otherwise they will make it and hope for the best. & # 39;
What is myocarditis?
The rare disease causes inflammation of the heart muscle and weakens the organ.
Myocaditis is often caused by a viral infection.
Symptoms may include: shortness of breath, feeling tired, swelling of arms and legs, and palpitations.
Myocarditis can be diagnosed with an electrocardiogram or a chest x-ray.
Source: Myocarditis Foundation
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