Adoptive angel helps heart attack survivor ‘survive’

Written by Staff Writer by Keith Carls, CNN A woman who survived a life-threatening heart attack that prevented her from dying has been granted an “adoptive angel” and now has the chance to raise…

Adoptive angel helps heart attack survivor 'survive'

Written by Staff Writer by Keith Carls, CNN

A woman who survived a life-threatening heart attack that prevented her from dying has been granted an “adoptive angel” and now has the chance to raise awareness about the fatal condition.

The 44-year-old mother-of-two from Mexico City almost died from a blood clot in her heart on the day she would normally turn 40.

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Marina Plachta Martinez’s heart was struggling for life in 2013, and what was supposed to be a joyful 40th birthday celebration turned into a nightmarish moment, recounted in a video released to the media by researchers from the Cardiovascular Centre at the the Imperial College London.

Initially Martinez was suffering a heart attack, but it was so severe that it caused her to collapse, breathe rapidly and have difficulty remembering where she was. Martinez then suffered a massive myocardial infarction (myocardiotherapy) lasting 22 minutes — despite her best efforts to try and survive.

Martinez was rushed to hospital, where she was given an emergency pacemaker and received massive amounts of medication, but things were far from looking good.

In her final hours, Martinez said: “The doctors could not do anything. My heart was just not working and when I woke up in ICU I had a very thin veil and you could really see a vascular artery that was going through my lung.”

“The doctors are amazing, but they told me that this morning (Friday) my heart is not working.”

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One by one, her family members came to visit, passing through the doors of the infirmary in her hopes of helping her to survive.

But by the morning of Martinez’s recovery, things took a turn for the worse and she died at 6.30am.

Martinez was also brought back to life with one of the world’s most powerful pacemakers. It made one vital improvement — it gave her the chance to live in the real world.

“I had an instant sense of my new life,” Martinez said in the video. “One week after I was in ICU, my family — my husband and my sons — arrived at my bedside.”

“The most precious thing that happened to me is when my heart went back into a normal rhythm, and that is the most beautiful thing in the world, that is my heart talking.”

Martinez was taken off the ventilator machine and now, two years on, she has the chance to give hope to other people through sharing her story.

Heart attacks are a common problem among those in their 40s and 50s, according to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

A National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimate found that 850,000 people die of a heart attack each year, with 60% of the victims dying within the first year of diagnosis. The largest heart attacks occur in younger adults.

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