Photo Journal: Woman Survives Heart Attack Procedure Without Anesthesia and Lives to Tell the Tale

On November 14, 2014, Sharon Baires went into the hospital to check on her shortness of breath. Minutes later, she was undergoing emergency surgery for a previously implanted heart wire that malfunctioned. The wire is for blood pressure and heart rate management. She endures the immediate code blue process wide-awake, without sedation, almost dying on the table.

Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, shares details about her recent heart procedure without anesthesia on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).
Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, shares details about her recent heart procedure without anesthesia on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).

“On a 1 through 10 scale, it was definitely a 10 pain level,” she described, “and it was excruciating. It felt like someone was dragging a saw across my heart.”

Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, describes the procedure of the wire removal around the heart cavity on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).
Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, describes the procedure of the wire removal around the heart cavity on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).

Half way through the procedure, Baires said she began fading out and soon passed out from the pain. She states that she knew she was dying at that moment.

Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, grips the table while sharing her story about passing out during the procedure on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, grips the table while sharing her story about passing out during the procedure on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).
Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, grips the table while sharing her story about passing out during the procedure on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, grips the table while sharing her story about passing out during the procedure on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).

“That day, I was one of three code blue calls in the hospital,” Baires describes, “and I was the only one who survived.”

Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, shows where the pacemaker was implanted on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).
Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, shows where the pacemaker was implanted on Sunday Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).

After the emergency procedure was complete, Baires spent the next five days recovering in the Intensive Care Unit. In addition, she had a high tech pacemaker implanted to regulate her irregular heartbeat. It is no larger than a quarter dollar.

Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, checking her blood pressure for abnormalities on Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).
Sharon Baires, heart attack survivor, checking her blood pressure for abnormalities on Nov. 30, 2014. (Photo by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck).

Baires checks her blood pressure multiple times a day.

“I check it every few hours. I am so nervous about anything happening. There are still so many questions I have.”

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