Tuesday, June 21, 2011

November 22, 2010

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.


Jodi said...

Thank you for posting this.

Kim Harvey said...

Is this the first chapter in your book? I love it reading what happened thru your eyes. I want to keep reading. Post more.

shari berry bo-berry said...

wow. i can't imagine the horror. i had heard the "story" through other sources before, but to read your words gives me chills.

Chris, Michelle, and the girls said...

Wow, Dave. Thanks so much for sharing this story. It already has me crying again.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but cry in gratitude to our loving Heavenly Father for seeing what Jill still needed to fulfill here on Earth by preserving her to continue to raise your beautiful children. A beautiful Miracle-from such a tramatic event. Thank you for sharing Wirthlins! We love you

Erin said...

thank you for posting! You are amazing! Thanks for taking such good care of her! HUGS! I'd love to hear more when you have the strength! :)

Katie said...

I'd only heard a very condensed version of this story, containing few details. This post answers so many questions. Thanks for expressing yourself here.

Jenn said...

Dave I love hearing this from your prespective. Thank you for sharing. Please keep writing and send Jill my love, she is incredible!

Tiffany J said...

Thank you for posting this. Living so far away we only get to read the small posts and updates on FB. Thank you for taking time to document this. You're a true inspiration....both of you!

Brian and Lindsay Holmstrom said...

Ditto to Kim and Shari. How far you two have come in just 7 months.

tracyjax said...

more!!! Jill what do you remember if anything? Thanks for the post Dave!

Erin said...

To think they left you just sitting there...that's just crazy...I'd be going out of my mind! I imagine there were phone calls to family members at this time and support was on the way? Where was your Bishop? Home Teachers?

Angela said...

Thank you for sharing. Keep them coming, I will keep reading My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you all.

sara said...

I loved reading what happened through your eyes Dave. This was a touching post and I too hope there's more to come. What an inspiration you and Jill are!

www.ackfam4.blogspot.com said...

Miracle. Thanks for sharing Dave-

Tasha @ Creation Corner said...

I get chills reading this. Still praying for all of you and sending love.

Terri and Roger said...

I'm seeing or experiencing this for the maybe 4th time. And I'm seeing the pictures and wondering, "Who's the dork standing there smiling?" It's me. What was I thinking? Am I stupid? In denial? And now I remember what it was like in that room. Dave- you never displayed fear or depression. You were attentive and doting. You always knew everything would be "fine." We all felt it was ok to be hopeful and faithful - even to the point that we could hang out and joke around, even be a little "socially " irreverent. Thanks for that. It would have been unbearable otherwise. Charity brought in that journal (brilliant) and was so comfortable and sweet holding Jill's hand and brushing her hair. I didn't know what to do, so I followed those examples and learned what it means to "exercise faith." But I still wish I didn't have that dopey smile.

Baby Olivia

Baby Olivia
bright eyes

My funny Ella

My funny Ella

My handsome Luke

My handsome Luke