Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in America. Every year, over 350,000 cardiac arrests are performed outside of hospitals. Research shows that women are less likely to receive CPR from an outsider than men and more likely to die in a cardiac event.
CBS News senior medical correspondent Tara Narula spoke to Jenylyn Carpio, a Northwell Health cardiologist. She was almost dead in 2005 and she doesn’t take it for granted that she can celebrate another year of her life. Jenylyn was visiting Jocelyn, her mother, with her 2-month-old daughter. She decided to go for a nap. Jocelyn is a CPR instructor, but she didn’t expect that she would be able to save her daughter’s life.
“I was 22 when I became a mom. I was a newly married woman and a college student. My mom was frantically pumping at me chest and yelling at to get up, the next thing I recall,” Jenylyn said to Dr. Narula. “A police officer was shining light into my eyes, and my mom said that I had just suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.”
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests result in death for approximately 90% of patients. However, CPR can increase a person’s chances of survival by more than doubling their chances. Jenylyn was discovered by doctors at the hospital to have a genetic condition that can lead to irregular heart rhythms, putting her at high risk of sudden cardiac death.
She said, “I was shocked.” “I had to accept that this was going be a lifetime thing.”
Jenylyn was fitted with a defibrillator by surgeons to detect abnormal heart rhythms and shock her. Four defibrillator repair surgeries have been performed on Jenylyn, with the latest in 2020. Jenylyn now lives a normal life with this device. She uses lessons from her own experiences to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest, and the importance CPR.
She said, “What I want other people to know about sudden cardiac arrest is that it can happen to anyone at any time and that CPR is a life-saving skill.” “That is why I am here today.”
Jenylyn is now an American Heart Association volunteer spokesperson and hopes that her story will encourage others to learn CPR.