It was a normal day until it wasn’t.

I really thought my heart issues were behind me. After all, I’d survived a rare complication associated with mitral valve prolapse. This normally benign mitral valve anomaly became a huge issue when I experienced valve flail and my mitral valve essentially blew open causing severe mitral valve regurgitation. I was told it could have happened when I did something as innocent as sneeze. Anyway, an open heart surgery would “cure” the problem, I was told. Indeed, it did. No murmur, no regurgitation. A successful operation.

Four years later, after a normal workday and with no warning, I suffered an SCA and face planted into my taco salad. My husband did CPR until first responders arrived and I was transported to the hospital. My heart stopped again in the ER. I was stabilized, placed in a medically induced coma, and my body was cooled to save my organ and brain function.

Here’s the lucky part: I woke up after 15 hours with no cognitive deficit. I got an ICD and, knock on wood, have been absolutely fine since.

No reason was found for my SCA. So I have a perfectly healthy heart with the reassurance of the ICD. I walk 5 miles a day with my dog. I play with my grandson. I struggle with PTSD. I love my life. I am so, so lucky.

Anne Hebert