Heartfelt appeal for collectors
Cardiac arrest survivor Wendy Waite is grateful for her second chance at life.
She has atrial fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that means she has an irregular and often rapid heart rate. Because of this she has had a number of AFib episodes since late 2016.
Last June, the 73-year-old collapsed at home from a heart attack and her heart stopped. The support from the Taranaki Heart Foundation helped her recovery from the near-death experience and was ‘‘out of this world,’’ she said.
Now Wendy will be supporting the foundation’s national Big Heart Appeal 2018.
She is making a heartfelt plea for volunteers in the community to join her in shaking the collection buckets on the streets of New Plymouth on Friday, February 23. ‘‘Anyone with a couple of hours to spare please help and support the Health Foundation,’’ Wendy said. ‘‘You never know what’s around your corner.’’
The day of her heart attack, Wendy recalls she and her husband, Scott had had dinner. ‘‘I said to Scotty. ‘I feel hot, but I’m fine’.’’
Scott suggested she rest on the couch and he headed upstairs to pack her a bag in case they had to go to hospital.
Wendy has no memory of what followed but others have since filled in her blanks.
‘‘As he was going up the stairs he heard a crash., I was gone,’’ she said.
Scott rushed back down to find her unresponsive. He rang 111, and performed CPR straight away and up until paramedics arrived to take over.
‘‘He saved my life,’’ Wendy said.
Wendy lay on life support in hospital for a day and in Intensive Care Unit for a week, before being flown to Waikato Hospital for surgery to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) put in her chest. It uses electrical impulses or shocks to reset the rhythm of her heart.
Heart disease is our biggest single killer, with more than 6000 Kiwis dying from it every year.
To sign up as a volunteer street collector visit heartfoundation.org.nz/volunteer or contact Erin Carter 7695066.
Cardiac arrest survivor Wendy Waite and Taranaki Heart Foundation’s Erin Carter geared up for Big Heart Appeal.