MY LITTLE ANGELS!
Lindsey’s two girls have saved her life
Lindsey Forsyth, 37, Berwick, Vic
Opening my eyes, I saw the school nurse. ‘You collapsed,’ she said, anxiously.
I was 30 weeks pregnant with my second child and had fainted teaching a class.
‘You’ll be fine after you give birth,’ a doctor said.
But I wasn’t. After beautiful Kiera arrived, I got worse. Standing up, I’d black out, collapsing like a wobbly jelly.
The cardiologist diagnosed Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS.
‘When you change posture, your blood pressure sinks, making you lose consciousness,’ he explained.
Medications didn’t work. Every few days, I’d topple over without warning. My husband Paul, 37, would lay me flat on the floor and raise my feet to send blood to my head, or, if I’d hit my head, call an ambulance.
Then one day, when Paul was at work, I collapsed and my eldest daughter, Aoife, five, couldn’t rouse me.
My clever girl rang Triple-0, with operators guiding her through CPR.
‘Thank God Aoife knew what to do,’ Paul said. ‘Who knows what would’ve happened.’
After that, I had a pacemaker fitted, which kicked in if my heart rate dropped too much. But it couldn’t stop me fainting. Once Aoife started school,
I only had Kiera, two, at home. So I got an alert button, to wear around my neck. Designed to ring Paul if I fell, it didn’t always work.
‘Kiera, press the alert button if I collapse,’ I told her. ‘That will call Daddy.’ ‘Okay, Mummy,’ she said. We worried about Kiera having to fend for herself if I was unconscious.
We just didn’t have a choice as we couldn’t afford full-time childcare.
This year I’ve collapsed almost 60 times. On 10 of those occasions, people called ambulances for me.
But Kiera has stepped in, twice saving my life by pressing the button after I fainted.
Deciding I needed a Cardiac Alert Dog, Paul set up a Go Fund Me to help cover the $35,000 cost of the dog, plus $15,000 of therapy costs.
Thanks to a generous response, my dog is now being trained.
If it senses my body language or temperature change, it’ll tap me on the knee to warn me.
They can also press alert buttons, and lick faces to revive people.
We’re also using the money for a nanny who can help me when I collapse.
That way, I’ll no longer have to rely on my toddler to save my life.
To help visit gofundme.com/medical-alert-dogamp-pots-treatment
This year, I have collapsed
Me with my girls, Kiera and Aoife
Me in hospital after my collapse