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Michelle Chambers – Heart Attack Success Story at Methodist Dallas

Michelle Chambers was ready for a third baby boy -- but not for the heart attack that followed

New Mom, Heart Attack Survivor – Michelle Chambers' Methodist Dallas Video Success Story

"If it weren't for this hospital, I would not be alive and my children would not have a mother..."

The video is embedded from YouTube and may not be visible from within the Methodist Health System network.
Learn more about the expansion of the emergency and trauma care center at Methodist Dallas.

Michelle Chambers, Methodist Dallas Medical Center heart attack success story, coronary artery dissection
A sudden and unexpected heart
attack threatened to interfere with 
Michelle Chambers'happy family.
Quick action saved her life, .

The birth of her third son added joy to the happy family of Michelle Chambers. She never suspected that it would also result in uncommon circumstances leading to a sudden, life threatening heart attack.

The Waxahachie resident and her husband were already parents to two healthy sons, Jonathan and Justin, when Jackson was born a few months ago.

"I felt perfectly fine during the whole pregnancy," she says, but a rare problem was developing.

"My blood pressure spiked after I delivered, and I had some headaches and pain in the side of my neck," Chambers explains. She felt these were normal aftereffects. Her blood pressure remained slightly elevated, however, so her mom, a hospice nurse, kept a watchful eye on her.

Chambers soon returned to her usual workday, guiding a cosmetics business based from her mother's home in another Ellis County community, where, typically, she and Jackson were alone during the day.

"I bent over to pick up the phone and got bad chest and jaw pain," Chambers recalls. "Both arms went limp, and I began to sweat profusely. I thought I was having a stroke."

She immediately called her mom, who told her to lay the baby down and call 911. She placed her infant son safely in a nearby playpen, fearful that she might pass out.

"I opened the front door, lay down, and waited," Chambers says. "The paramedics came, and I had the heart attack while they were there. My mom arrived with a friend, who is a chaplain. I told Mom, 'You take the baby, and I'll take the chaplain.' I thought I was dying."

Methodist Dallas to the rescue

Michelle Chambers, Methodist Dallas Medical Center heart attack success story, coronary artery dissectionOn the trip to the emergency department at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Chambers says some things became a blur in her memory.

"There must have been 15 people in the ER taking care of me," Chambers says. "They said I'd had a heart attack. From the ER, I was rushed up to the cath lab, where my husband was informed that I needed to have surgery (double bypass) and be in the ICU after that." Her thoracic surgeon was John Jay, MD, an independently practicing physician on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

Chambers had no heart disease history and no reason to suspect any potential problem after the birth of her third son. "They tell me it's really rare -- something unusual that can develop from hormones from the pregnancy," she says.

Dr. Jay explains that Chambers received a coronary artery dissection to help resolve the unusual condition.

Her recuperation progressed well over a week, and she was relieved when the chest tubes were removed.

"I was walking around -- getting my strength back," she says, adding, "I could walk a mile when I got home."

Grateful for a heart that keeps up

After her recovery, Chambers quickly returned to driving and the independent activities of her usual life. Two rambunctious boys, her husband, and an infant son keep her busy as does running the business with her mom.

Chambers has praise for her caregivers at Methodist Dallas: "Everyone in the cath lab was so nice; they even came over to see me in the ICU. I gave them all thank you cards. One lady there made a great impression – he sat with me and combed my hair, and I didn't want her to leave. And another guy who was there the first night after my surgery let my husband stay and was my apple juice-getter!"

She is grateful to all those who helped save her life –including the emergency medical technicians, her surgeon, and those who cared for her in the hospital daily. "Mom says God was with me that day."

From the spring 2011 edition of Shine magazine

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System.

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