Mother revives cheerleader daughter by performing CPR after shock cardiac arrest mid-contest
A North Carolina mother brought her daughter back from the brink of death when the cheerleader suddenly went into cardiac arrest during a competition.
The cheer contest began like any other for Keianna Joe as she warmed up on stage with her team, while her mother Andrea Joe waited to watch her perform.
But suddenly – and for reasons still unknown – Keianna collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.
Ms Joe said that she was alerted that something was wrong when her daughter’s coach ran out of the building shouting for help.
“I saw her coach came 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,’” she told NBC’s TODAY show.
Ms Joe, a certified medical assistant, instantly leaped into action.
Unable to find her daughter’s pulse, she performed CPR on her for almost 10 minutes until a portable defibrillator was finally brought to the scene.
“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.
“I was like, ‘Come on, Keianna Come on. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this today.’”
When the defibrillator arrived, she used that and was finally able to get Keianna’s heart beating again.
The cheerleader was then rushed to hospital where she was fitted with a small defibrillator implant.
Doctors remain stumped by what exactly caused the medical emergency but – after 10 days in hospital – mother and daughter are back together at home after the ordeal.
Ms Joe choked back tears as she recalled what she described as “the scariest moment of my life”.
“The vision of her laying there, not moving, not breathing, not responding, was the scariest moment of my life,” she said.
She added: “Driving home from the hospital, I just kept looking at her.
“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.”
The quick-thinking of Ms Joe – in the face of a traumatic experience – has been credited with saving Keianna’s life.
The mother and daughter are now speaking out in the hope that they can help save others by encouraging people to learn CPR.
They are also calling for every school and sports event to have a portable defribillator (or an AED) on hand in case of such emergencies.
According to the American Heart Association, CPR can double or triple the chance of survival when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. Use of a defribillator increases that chance even further.