PARMA, Ohio — January 14 is a day 59-year-old Eileen Horning will never forget.
She said everything was going fine at work, but when she came back from lunch – something changed.
“I sat down, went to type a message and all of a sudden I felt funny, I thought ‘oh my God’, and I pushed myself away from the desk,” she said.
Horning was going into cardiac arrest, inside an office that’s usually empty.
But on that day, an alert co-worker was close by.
“Didn’t see me at my desk, but thought she heard something and thank God that she kept coming and found me laying on the ground,” said Horning.
Eileen had stopped breathing.
Several of her colleagues performing CPR and used a defibrillator to bring her back to life, while Taylor Berry, a construction sales engineer, called for help.
“I didn’t know what was going on, but it looked like it was serious enough that somebody should call 911. I didn’t see anybody with their phone out yet, so I called 911,” said Berry.
Eileen’s heart was racing so fast that it stopped pumping blood.
She was rushed to UH Parma Medical Center and immediately underwent surgery to put in an implantable defibrillator.
She said being able to thank her doctors, but most importantly her first responders, is nothing short of a miracle.
“They said 95% of people that have what I had, that experience of cardiac arrest, that aren’t in the hospital setting, don’t make it. I definitely had a higher power looking over me,” said Horning.
On Wednesday night, University Hospital’s Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute will be hosting its annual Hearts Heroes Celebration reuniting cardiac patients with the people who saved them.
Eileen Horning will be among the honorees.