Very little in life match the awe-inspiring bond between a mother and her daughters. For many women, their mothers were their heroes who displayed great strength through the trials and tribulations they faced. As we age, we are less dependent on our mothers’ help until it surprises us. One teenage girl suffered cardiac arrest during a cheerleading competition. She lives to tell the tale, thanks to her mom, who saved her life.
Cardiac Arrest at Cheerleading Competition
Earlier this month, a cheerleading competition took a traumatic turn in North Carolina. Keianna Joe was preparing for her team’s turn to compete, while her mother, Andrea Joe, waited on the sidelines in support. However, Keienna never made it to her performance because she collapsed. Andrea said she knew something was wrong when she noticed the coach running frantically calling for an ambulance. “I saw her coach come running out of the back door of the other building screaming just frantically, ‘Get an ambulance. Get an ambulance. We need the ambulance here now,’” said Andrea.
When Andrea found her daughter, she was lying on the floor not responding because she was in cardiac arrest. Luckily, Andrea knew exactly what to do because she is a certified medical assistant. “I just took over. I know CPR, I know how to do this. This is my baby and I have to save her,” she said.
Keianna needed a shock
Andrea performed CPR on her daughter for a whole ten minutes before a portable defibrillator was brought in. “I was like, ‘Come on, Keianna Come on. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this today,’” she said. “The vision of her laying there, not moving, not breathing, not responding, was the scariest moment of my life.”
Andrea had worked with the AED machines in the past, so she knew how to activate them. Seeing that Keianna was in cardiac arrest, the defibrillator confirmed that she needed a shock. “The machine said, ‘Shock required.’ And, I mean, I’ve trained on these AED devices before, and they’ve never told me ‘Shock required,’” she recalled.
Keianna spent ten days in the hospital and came out with a small defibrillator implanted in her chest. Her mother counts their blessings, not taking her survival for granted “Driving home from the hospital, I just kept looking at her,” Andrea said. “And I made her hold my hand, and I just cried because she’s with me. She’s here. She’s right next to me. And I’ve got her and it’s the best feeling ever.”
As for Keianna, she marvels at her mother’s strength. she found great comfort in the fact that her mother was always by her side while she was in the hospital. “It was very hard for me to be in the hospital and away from my family,” she said. “But the one person that was always by my side and then I knew that was always there was my mom.”
Teen Athletes at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
According to Mayo Clinic, “sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes.” They estimated that every “1 in 1000 people” suffer sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, per year. The difference between a heart attack and SCA is that a heart attack means the oxygenated blood is blocked from reaching the heart and SCA is when the heart stops due to an irregular heartbeat. Causes of sudden cardiac arrest could pertain to underlying heart issues. These conditions include catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, long QT syndrome, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Dr. Adam Kean at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis interviewed with TODAY on the matter. “Even though it is the No. 1 cause, it is remarkably rare, which is important,” Kean added. “We estimate that one in 30,000 children die of cardiac arrest each year, and that sounds incredibly small. But that’s still around 2,000 children in the United States each year“
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- “Mom saves teen daughter’s life after she had cardiac arrest at a cheerleading competition.” TODAY Drew Weischoltz. March 15, 2023
- “Youth athletes shouldn’t skip a beat when it comes to heart health.” Mayo Clinic. , January 25, 2023