Many of you already know the story.
On November 22, 2010, Jill suffered a cardiac arrest. We had just finished watching a video of Charlotte's birth. Jill and I were on the couch. Luke was at school, Olivia and Ella were playing and Charlotte was napping.
Around 10am, Jill said, I feel like I'm going to pass out. Within seconds, she got stiff and started moving her arms awkwardly. I thought she was joking because she always jokes likes this. It just looked too fake, but within seconds I realized it was real. It was the eyes. No one could fake that blank look.
Her breathing got more shallow, and soon she was snorting for breath. I had the phone. I said, you better not be kidding. I'm going to call 911. I was holding out hope that it was Jill being Jill.
But it wasn't. I called 911, told them what happened. Within 30 seconds I heard a siren in the distance. On the phone, they were asking all sorts of questions: is she breathing? can you feel a pulse? where is she now? Maybe. I think so. I couldn't tell the difference between my own racing heartbeat and heavy breathing. My heartbeat was in my ears.
They had me move her to the ground. Things began to sink in at this point. I felt no life in her as I struggled to get her on the ground. Once the ground, they asked me if I could feel her pulse and breathing, and I tried to say no, but it didn't come out.
Just as they told me to start CPR, there was a knock on the door. I ran and answered it. The paramedics arrived and told me to take the kids in the basement.
The county sheriff came down and took my statement of what happened. A few minutes later, he came back down and said, You better get to the hospital. I don't know how she's doing. I only know they were working her pretty hard.
I dropped the kids off and went to the ER. I expected someone to come out and tell me they did all they could, but she didn't make it. I waited.
When someone came to get me, I was ushered into an ominous little waiting room. No one seemed to know what was going on. I was visited by a chaplain. A social worker from the sheriff's department.
Finally, a nurse peeked in: You can see her in a few minutes. She's just finishing her MRI.
Just like that, as if I already knew she was alive.
When I finally see her, she's surrounded by tubes and wires and they're dropping her temperature to the low 90's to prevent further damage to her heart and brain.
She spent the rest of the day shivering and sedated into an induced coma.
These pictures are from day two.