Thanks to life-saving care at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus in Glendale, Emily Christison and Justin Elms are able to celebrate Mother’s Day as a family.
Hours after their daughter’s birth at the West Valley hospital, Elms suffered a “widowmaker” heart attack.
A little over a month ago June was born at Abrazo Arrowhead, located at 18701 N. 67th Ave. Visiting mom and baby, Elms wasn’t feeling well so he went to the hospital’s ER. Minutes later he was in the cardiac catheterization lab where doctors found a near total blockage in his heart.
“It was a whirlwind couple of days,” Christison said. “I had a baby on Wednesday morning and by Thursday afternoon, Justin had a heart attack. He spent a day in the ICU but we were all able to go home by early Friday evening.”
“Most new dads are usually so exhausted by the events surrounding a birth, but he seemed like he really wasn’t feeling well and decided to go the Emergency Department to get checked out,” he said.
“Justin had been feeling kind of lightheaded and then had a really bad episode,” Christison said. “He walked down to the ER and within 25 minutes a nurse came in to tell me he had a heart attack and was getting stents put in. They called it a ‘widowmaker’ heart attack because he had a 99% blockage.”
Krupa said it was a very emotional time.
“She was shaken by what had happened,” Christison’s nurse said. “It was crazy but everything went as best as it could. Talk about being in the right place at the right time for something like that to happen.”
“Mom handled it like a champ,” added Eleshia Barrett, who was charge nurse that day. “It’s definitely something that we don’t see every day here in Labor and Delivery.”
“Everyone knows the story. ‘Oh you’re the baby and heart attack person’,” Christison laughed. “If we hadn’t already been in the hospital Justin wouldn’t be here today. All the nurses were wonderful and helpful. Now everybody is healthy and happy.”
Every day is Mother’s Day in the Abrazo Arrowhead Campus Labor and Delivery Unit, but Krupa and Barrett both agree that Emily, Justin and family will have an extra special reason to celebrate on Sunday.