In A Heartbeat

 Posted by at 12:25 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 022023

Note: This was my blog from six years ago today when a crisis hit our family. I am happy and ever so grateful to report that Tiffany made a full recovery and today is healthy and happy. But it was one of the worst times of my life, and I was terrified.

You can be going through life fat, dumb, and happy without a care in the world, and it can all change in a heartbeat. We are experiencing that ourselves right now.

While we were waiting for the air conditioner repair man to get here yesterday morning we got a call telling us that our 35 year old daughter Tiffany had collapsed and gone into full code cardiac arrest. Paramedics got her heart started again and she is now in the hospital on a ventilator, in a medically induced coma. Doctors said her potassium level was near zero, they have detected an enlarged heart, and she apparently threw up and aspirated into her lungs. They won’t know what effects being without oxygen are going to have on her long term. Estimates are that it took 3-5 minutes to get her heart beating again, but those numbers are not confirmed. I’ve been told that six minutes without oxygen is the magic number before you start losing function. Hopefully we will know more sometime this afternoon.

We are making plans to head to our old town of Show Low, Arizona as soon as possible, depending on what we hear this afternoon. It being the middle of the holiday weekend, finding airline tickets is darned near impossible. We couldn’t get anything out of Orlando or Tampa unless we want to go to the airport and sit around and wait for a chance to catch a standby seat on a flight, and the best alternative I could come up with for today would be to drive to Tallahassee (250 miles) to catch a flight to Denver, Colorado and then a connecting flight to Las Vegas, Nevada, and then to rent a car and drive 385 miles to Show Low. Or we can wait until Wednesday and get a flight from Orlando to Phoenix and rent a car and drive the hundred miles or so to Show Low. Given all that, it’s almost as quick to jump in the car and drive the 2,000 miles from here.

While all that was going on, the air conditioner repairman came and checked out our AC/heat pump unit, which sits outside in one of our carports. He added two pounds of Freon, fixed some wiring that really needed attention, and got it running again for us. But he said the salt air has pretty much corroded the cooling fins, which is why we are not getting good airflow. His opinion was that even though it is working now, it’s not long for this world. Of course, that’s the least of my priorities at this time.

I don’t know where we are going to be this time tomorrow or if I will have Internet access to post a blog or enough sanity to do so. We’ll keep you posted as much as we can.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of my friend Suzie O’Connell’s Mountain Angel, the first book in her Northstar Angel’s series. It’s a contemporary Western romance about a woman who returns to her roots,  desperate for the tranquility of the secluded valley and plagued by memories of her dead boyfriend and the advances of an obsessive former friend. When her over-protective uncle sends Patrick O’Neil “on vacation” to keep an eye on her she is annoyed, but finds herself irresistibly drawn to the haunted man with a kind smile and sad eyes. He may just be the best thing to ever happen to her…if she can convince him to stay.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. This one isn’t particularly funny, but it’s a message some people need to be reminded of.

Thought For The Day – Never in the history of calming someone down has anybody ever been calmed down by someone telling them to calm down.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “In A Heartbeat”

  1. Praying for your daughter, Tiffany. My now 86 year old husband had a heart attack (actually 3 of them before it was all over) two years ago and is now just fine. Your daughter has youth on her side, along with my prayers and those of many other of your followers. We’re with you and Tiffany, Nick. Norma

  2. So thankful everything turned out okay for your family…God is Good!!

  3. I remember when this happened and am so grateful that Tiffany is doing well. I can’t imagine how helpless you felt back then. Good parents are always parents, no matter how old their children get, and Travis and Tiffany are fortunate to have you for a dad.

  4. I remember your post at the time. I was not very successful in providing positive encouragement as my world was still under the influence of my wife’s brain damage from a cardiac arrest that happened years before. She passed three and a half years ago.

    I am much better equipped to provide counsel now and wish I could have been better support for your experience.

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