Hypoxia after Cardiac Arrest

Hi, my partner 39yrs old suffered a Cardiac Arrest in January of this year...they tried CPR for 55mins and in this time we believe he was without oxygen or very little to the brain. He was kept alive by life support in the beginning. And the prognosis seemed dark, the doctors don't give much away and if they do, it is usually very disheartening. I was told my partner would have brain damage but to which extent they couldn't say or would stay in a vegetive state and not awake from induced Coma, Luckily it took him around a week and a half to wake up. When he awoke he didn't know who I was, nor did he make sense, verbally or mentally. All very scary to see some you love go through this. Within eight weeks he started to feed himself, speak and make sense of his surroundings, and eventually walk. I never gave up HOPE even though I was falling apart. I had to be strong for him and tell him. NO matter what it would be OK!!!. With that, he became stronger and nearly 9 months later is back to around 85%.

Currently his memory isn't great, a lot of repeating myself and post it notes around for daily reminders, lack of sleep makes him very unstable in balance and general confusion so I tend to make sure he gets enough sleep otherwise the following day can prove tricky. His personality is back around 95% unfortunately his just not as energetic as he used to be, and lacks a little empathy but apparently still early days!

No matter what, don't give up HOPE if you are going though a similar situation. The mind and body is a powerful thing! Just keep praying for healing and give them as much of your strength, as you possibly can. Aftercare is slightly tricky, I had to leave my job and it took forever to find a good NHS Neurotherapist, don't forget you may also need some therapy after this traumatic event.

11 Replies

  • What a wonderful outcome and so encouraging to hear. I know how hard it must be for you - but everything is heading in the right direction. Stay strong!

  • So so pleased for you both, my sons girlfriend didnt hang around when he had his tbi...her loss, so its up to us his family to give him the hope and strength, we will never give up hope and its good to hear that your partner is doing so well, long may it continue.


  • Thank you Heather, very hurtful that his GF disappeared! Having you, and his family is the BEST medicine. Slowly, but surely things do improve, the body & mind will adjust to all the changes ...sending you and your son lots of healing. keep strong :-)


  • thank you for this post. My husband came out of full time rehabilitation this week (after 6 months in hospital and rebab). His cardiac arrest and hypoxic brain injury happened in May. This is so encouraging to see your post as its like a mirror image of what I'm facing.

    the aftercare part is quite shocking how little is structured and without a supportive partner or family then they would never get back to their potential. I am also facing the prospect of taking extended leave from my job to support him.

  • Hi,

    Seems like I'm a few months in front of you, but yes, very similar situation! 2015 has been a long and emotional road, the hardest thing is 'not knowing' how badly effected the brain damage will be. It's a waiting game...good days and bad days. Sounds like you've been doing an amazing job and that your partner has come through the worst...

    Amanda :-)

  • You have worked so hard but it pays off ! My husband had a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage sept 2013. We have been on a really long journey and still on it now only not so fast and not uphill !

    You are so right to put him first my thoughts on this was like yours. I think your brain heals and you have a limited time to put the things back. My husband lost everything too not able to say anything that made sense, thought tv was real, couldn't walk feed or care for himself, he was also incontinent. He spent 10 months in hospital and a rehab unit. I spent everyday from 10 to 8 with him for the first 4/5 months. When he came home from hospital I again went sick and just stayed at home for another 4 months. We had post it notes on everything. I now work 3 days and he goes to Headway, which he nicknamed Dreadway, .

    We go out and we live our lives as much as we can.

    He still suffers from memory placements and from fatigue, but we just work around those.

    I agree with the help for yourself, like you i felt the world on my shoulders and attended counselling. I cried for the whole first two sessions.

    We have been together for years and we got married in March this year, it was a beautiful day for us.

    Life is different but in someways better.

  • Thanks for the post, I'm getting in contact with Headway today and hopefully they can provide a little more support! It's really encouraging to hear positive stories and so lovely to hear things are heading in the right direction for you.

    Congratulations on the marriage that is truly lovely news

  • What wonderful news! I am so pleased for you both xx

  • 1sunshine1 dont expect too much and dont expect him to be the person he was before.

    youre already learning things are different and will remain so.

    my suggestion is now that youve found this site use headway to your advantage ie find out were the nearest support group is ( good for you and your partner ) is there a headways daycentre or somewhere for him to attend during the day to give you some respite

    good luck


  • That sounds a lot like me, to be honest - I was in hospital for 8 months (thoug a lot of those were in a lovely 'rehab' centre) and I was off work for 18 months, but I *did* eventually get to go back. My accident was over 10 years ago, now, and I am not 'normal' (I am 'blind', with bad balance, etc. etc.), but I am still improving (ver yslowly, now, but still).

    You are right - do NOT give up!

  • Thank you for positive post you sounds amazing :-)

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