Wednesday, 24 October 2018

She Helped Save Her Husband’s Life With

Husbands Life

She Helped Save Her Husbands Life With CPR Then Gave
Birth to Their Son

Ashley Goette of West St. Paul, Minn., is being compared to a superhero lately, and
not just because she’s a new mother. (Though her 22 hours of labor alone would qualify.)
It’s because, within the span of 4 days, she not only gave birth to her first child but also
saved her husband’s life.

It all began last Tuesday, around 5 a.m., when Ms. Goette was awakened by her husband,
Andrew. He seemed to be snoring. She nudged him and asked him to roll over. He didn’t

Then she realized he wasn’t snoring at all: He was gasping for air.
Ms. Goette, 28, who works as a teacher’s aide at a grade school, called 911 and
the dispatcher guided her in performing chest compressions, instructing her to maneuver
her husband to a hard surface. But she was 39 weeks pregnant, and though she tried, he
wouldn’t budge. She continued performing compressions on the bed. The gasping
stopped. He was turning purple.

“I thought he for sure was dead,” Ms. Goette said on Wednesday. “I don’t think I really
had any time to process what was going on.”

After about 10 minutes, paramedics showed up and discovered he wasn’t breathing and
didn’t have a pulse. They shocked his heart and rushed Mr. Goette, 28, to the hospital,
where his outlook seemed uncertain.

“He wasn’t waking up and interacting with us, so that’s always a concerning factor,” Dr.
Alex Teeters, a pulmonary and critical care physician at United Hospital in St. Paul, said
on Wednesday.

Create an account or log in Soon, a team of doctors approached Ms. Goette with grim news: Initial testing suggested that Mr. Goette might have sustained severe brain damage.

“Those first 24 hours were harrowing for the family,” Dr. Teeters said, and doctors prepared Ms. Goette “for the likelihood that this won't be an honest outcome.” As she recalled, “there was just about no doubt at that the point that he wasn't coming
home with me.”
The hospital sedated Mr. Goette and commenced lowering his blood heat in what
would be a daylong procedure to induce mild hypothermia and reduce damage to the

“While they were doing that, it was the most terrifying thing to see,” Ms. Goette said. “His
the body was just convulsing.” The doctors administered a muscle relaxant to prevent
involuntary movements.
“I would constantly beholding his fork over my stomach on the baby, and telling him:
‘We have not had this baby yet. I’m going to wait for you. You’re going to be the first one
to hold this baby. This is not happening until you’re ready,’” Ms. Goette recalled.
Then, on Wednesday, when the process ended and the sedation lifted, Mr. Goette began
to move.
A nurse asked him to open his eyes, and to everyone’s surprise, he sat upright, scanning
the faces of his family members.
“The screams that were coming from his room and the cries were like nothing else,” Ms.
Goette said. “Nobody was expecting that — it was insane.”
Had Ms. Goette not acted as quickly as she did, Dr. Teeters said, her husband might not
have recovered.
“Minutes can make a huge difference in situations like this,” Dr. Teeters said.
Mr. Goette later learned that he had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a rare condition
also shared by his uncle that creates abnormal heart rhythms. It is even rarer for
patients with this syndrome to travel into asystole, Dr. Teeters said.
The condition is caused by an extra electrical pathway between the heart’s upper and
lower chambers that are present from birth.
Mr. Goette needed a procedure to destroy the tissue in his heart that was creating the
improper pathways. But then, on Thursday, Ms. Goette started having contractions. Her
blood pressure was rising. The procedure was postponed.
She was parturient throughout the night and into Friday, but eventually hospital staff
members urged her to consider a C-section. She agreed, and on Friday, Lennon was

Mr. Goette was the first person to hold him.

“I tore open the hospital gown I had on and I was patiently waiting for them to walk
through the hospital doors so I could put him on my chest,” Mr. Goette recalled.

Seeing the two of them together for the first time “was the most amazing thing I had ever
seen,” Ms. Goette said. “That made me very happy.” Mr. Goette had his surgery on Monday and therefore the couple are now both back reception, surrounded by family, as they suit life as new parents.

“We’re really lucky,” Ms. Goette said.

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