Story of a peri arrest survivor … part 2

We continue the story of our real stories feature. Maria Esangbedo is an A&E nurse in the United Kingdom. She is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend . She shares her story hoping that it would help, guide or encourage people to take charge of their health and have the strength and resilience to survive.


I woke up to the chest compressions and both my arms being punctured by one needle or the other.

From what I gathered, I had developed a spontaneous case of Fast AF without any warning, my blood pressure was already compromised because my heart was unable to sufficiently pump blood to my organs due to its erratic rhythm of beating, the anticoagulant that was meant to prevent blood clots and strokes (when the blood is not being pumped efficiently, residual blood congeal and form clots) the anticoagulant thinned my blood and with me already on my menstrual cycle I was losing more blood than usual due to the drug. This also worsens my blood pressure further. My heart was basically preparing itself to go into a cardiac arrest. If I had not pressed that call bell when I did, the nurses would have probably noticed too late and simply put it I would have been dead.

So what happened next?

The plan was that they were going to do something called a Cardioversion (basically send an electrical shock into my heart that would restart it) and transfer me to the intensive care unit.

As they got me prepared for surgery, I felt the urge to just cry out to God but I was so out of breathe that I couldn’t speak; so my husband prayed on our behalf. I cannot tell you my story without telling you this part. Yes medically speaking there is always a reason for everything, but I do not believe in coincidences I believe in full on miracles. As my husband held my hand and prayed a simple prayer, nothing flamboyant or fancy, he just held my hand we said the Rosary (because we are Catholics) and asked Christ Jesus to heal me. As we finished the last syllables of “AM-EN” my heart rhythm, my breathing ability, my blood pressure, the bleeding everything just went back to absolute normal! Completely normal! Even the doctors were stunned. The next day I returned home; fit enough to go for a jog even.

Moral of the story:

It is so important the cardiac health is taken seriously. As a Nigerian I have grown up around adults that believed that everything can be cured with either antimalarial tablets or penicillin. Unless one passes out, it is simply a matter or self-medication or prayer. First of all, prayer with works or wisdom applied is dead (the bible said it not me), second of all self-medicating is an highly dangerous thing to do and can have devastating, life changing effects. Doctors are doctors for a reason. They have studied for it and it is important that you take advantage of the services available to you whilst it is not yet a heart attack. We all know blood pressure leads to the death on 1 in 3 adults and is arguably more common in black people. Whether this is due to social, or socio-economic reasons I am not sure, but what I do know is, if I had ignored my symptoms, though slightly milder to start with, I would have possibly died in front of my child at the age of 24. Young people, Old people, Rich or Poor… you only have One life! Once e don scatter, e don scatter! Invest in your health! Car, house, travels, land these are all lovely things to enjoy in life… but the key word there is “IN LIFE”.. so invest in what would continue to keep you alive.


Hope you enjoyed the read.

God Bless & Stay Healthy!

Maria Esangbedo



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