In England, a new mother went into cardiac arrest after contracting a rare virus called myocarditis. The woman, Holli Cheung, was treated at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital where doctors tried to revive her for 45-minutes. However, it wasn’t until her husband placed their three-month-old son, Jordan, next to her that her heart started to beat independently.
Holli explained, “I don’t know whether it was a miracle, but some of the nurses certainly thought it was. Other people say it was the strength of a mother’s love, but I know Jordan became my sole reason to get better. I knew I had to take steps, however little they were, to get better.”
Before Holli was sent to the hospital, she visited her doctor because she was having fainting spells. Unfortunately, he told her it was nothing to worry about and said that she just needed to get some rest. Holli said, “I was advised to go home to rest. Just an hour later, as I held my baby on my lap, I passed out and Jordan rolled off my lap on to the floor. The next thing I knew I was surrounded by paramedics along with my husband Jason and was on a stretcher on my way to hospital.”
Now Holli believes her son saved her life but says that her time in the hospital was very difficult because she couldn’t care for him. She said, “Being away from my son was gut-wrenching. Before I had been there for him 24/7 and I had been breast feeding him. Not being able to pick him up, soothe him, change him or feed him was like a pain I can’t describe. To help me, family and friends printed photos of Jordan and put posters up all over my room. It became like a shrine and we all started to call the room, the ‘Jordan Suite’.”
As doctors grew more concerned that Holli’s heart would never recover, they discussed the possibility of a heart transplant. After ten days on the machine, a donor team came to talk through her options and even put the mum on a transplant list as a precaution.
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Then, in a bid to lift her spirits, baby Jordan was brought in to the unit and allowed to sleep alongside his mum for a couple of hours.
That night her heart miraculously started to beat again. “I think that for whatever reason he woke up my heart,’’ she said.
“I have no idea what happened that night when Jordan slept beside me, all I know is that when the doctors and consultants came round on their ward rounds the next day, they were astonished to see my heart beating.
“After that night, slowly but surely, my heart got a little stronger and I started to recover.” After two weeks the heart machine was removed and the organ was strong enough to function on its own again.
“My baby saved me, there’s no doubt about that,’’ said Holli. “He kept me fighting, he made me stronger and determined to get better and he helped me recover.”