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Share Your Story: Becky Halon

by Anne S. on Thursday, December 5, 2013

Becky Halon Avon, Indiana

I am a survivor of a devastating cardiac arrest at age 28.  July 1, 2010 was an ordinary day for the Halon Family.  I had taken my 3 children ages 10, 2 and 18 months to swim that morning, and for a jog as a family that evening.  I was tired that night but any mom of 3 would be tired after a busy day!  We put our kids to bed around 8:30 pm and we headed to our room around 9:00 pm.  It was at 10:00 pm I got up to go to the bathroom and my husband heard me agonal breathing a sign of death.  He ran to find me lifeless without a heart beat (dead) he did CPR for 2 minutes and realized he needed more help, I was not waking up, I had dilated pupils, body limp and cold, so he ran to get a phone and called 911 put it on speaker until paramedics could get there.  My husband did CPR for 11 minutes without stopping.  Once paramedics got there, they shocked (stopped it in hopes it would restart) 2 times, then took me to the nearest hospital shocked my heart two more times in the ambulance and then once at the hospital they shocked my heart another 11 times doing CPR the entire time.  At 72 minutes I was still without life, things were looking grim and the doctors wanted to stop but my husband was persistent about not giving up and he said “Don’t Stop! we will do this all night if I have to do it myself”  they continued and at 75 minutes I got a heart rhythm back. 

The American Heart Association advocates for and teaches nurses and doctors to cool the body after a cardiac arrest to 32 degrees Celsius for 24 hours to save brain function.  I was thankfully cooled according to the hospital policy.  Without the cooling I would not be able to type this letter, or even tie my shoes, something I did have to relearn to do along with, breathing on my own, eating, dressing self, typing, walking, running, driving and the list goes on.   I spent a month in the ICU, another month at inpatient rehab and 6 months of intense outpatient therapy.

Today, 2 years and 3 months later I can say I have my life back, my husband has his wife and my kids have their mom back.  I am a local spokesperson for the AHA, teach CPR, advanced life support and pediatric life support classes at a local hospital, I am raising three kids, married to a wonderful director of Cardiac/pulmonary services.  I can now drive independently, writing a book, coach my daughter’s soccer team, run carpools, etc.   I have learned that heart disease effects ALL people young and old, fit and unfit, all races and all builds, it is a lethal disease we must fight against.  God has given me the opportunity to speak out and assist in fighting back against heart disease! 

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