Lind­sey’s two girls have saved her life

that's life (Australia) - - Living Well -

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 visit­i­cal-alert-dogamp-pots-treat­ment

This year, I have col­lapsed

60 times

Me with my girls, Kiera and Aoife

Me in hospi­tal after my col­lapse

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