What was supposed to be one of the happiest days of their lives nearly turned tragic for a Minnesota couple who, thanks to the quick thinking of the mom-to-be, are now counting their many blessings as a family of three.
Ashley Goette, 39 weeks pregnant, was set to be induced on October 16 - but her plans quickly changed when she awoke that morning to find her husband Andrew gasping for air.
The unthinkable was happening. Andrew was having a heart attack.
Ashley immediately called 9-1-1 and with the help of the dispatcher, performed CPR on her husband while she waited for an ambulance to arrive. Little did she know, this decision would ultimately mean the difference between life and death.
By the time paramedics arrived, Andrew was in full cardiac arrest. Fortunately, they were able to restart his heart at the scene, but Andrew had been without oxygen for a very long time. Tragically, his CT and MRI scans showed that as a result, he had suffered a horrific brain injury. He was placed in a medically-induced coma and his body temperature was lowered to give his brain the chance to heal.
The family prepared for the worst. Doctors warned that even if Andrew was able to awaken from his coma, he would likely never be the same again. Ashley remained glued to his bedside, making him a promise that she would not give birth to their baby just yet.
"I didn’t want to have to think for one second about having to do any of this without him," she said. "I kept telling him the whole time he was asleep . . . that I was not going to have this baby until he woke up."
Miraculously, the following day Andrew emerged from his coma and even more incredible news awaited the family: Andrew somehow also managed to avoid any brain damage. According to Dr. Alex Teeters, critical care physician, none of this would have been possible without Ashley's quick thinking at the scene.
"I don’t think Andrew would be here today if it wasn’t for the actions of Ashley," he said. "Absolutely the number one thing is she recognized that there was a problem and called for help."
The very next day, Ashley was induced and Andrew was able to join her in labour and delivery in his own hospital. When Ashley's induction stalled, doctors performed an emergency cesarian section and Andrew was able to watch the procedure on FaceTime. Incredibly, he was the first person to hold his son, Lennon, after he was born.
"I was already standing there with my shirt off waiting for him, with all my electrodes still hanging off of me," he said.
This week, Andrew successfully underwent surgery to correct his heart arrhythmia, which doctors believed caused his near-fatal heart attack two weeks ago. He is now recovering in hospital, alongside his wife and baby boy.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been set up to support the new family.