Last year, Abbey and her family all contracted Covid. After a few days, she started to experience some concerning symptoms including extreme weakness, pins and needles and heaviness in her legs. They spoke to a doctor and were advised to go straight to Bunbury hospital. “My last memory is of my husband having to drop me off outside the hospital. Little did we know that was the last time we would see each other for two weeks.”
The hospital staff ran a blood test and found that Abbey’s levels of troponin were extremely high. “Anything above 40 indicated a heart attack and my levels were up to 7000.” She was given medication and monitored in the ICU, but her condition worsened and they decided to fly her to Fiona Stanley Hospital.
Once she arrived in Perth, doctors put her on an ECMO machine which is the highest form of life support. It is only used on the most critically ill patients as it has major side effects and a 40-50% survival rate. After a few days, they decided to run some tests to determine if her heart had gotten stronger. While all this was happening Abbey’s husband was receiving updates over the phone and keeping a journal of everything that happened. “He wrote that he felt a very strong sense of urgency on that day. The tests had to show a significant improvement.”
That evening he received a phone call and was told that Abbey’s heart had recovered to 50% which was enough for them to take her off life support. They prepared him for the possibility that she would still be in a coma and need several weeks to recover. But everything went so well that Abbey was able to be brought out of a coma and come off breathing assistance straight away. Then after just 6 days she was discharged and went home. “The doctors described me as the most critically ill ICU patient at that time so a long recovery was expected. They were amazed at my recovery.”
Now Abbey is healthier than ever. “I’m doing amazing. I suffered no stroke, I suffered no failure of my organs, I have my limbs intact. All the major potential risks I was protected from. My heart is doing fantastic, I’m power walking 3km each morning so it is absolutely incredible.”