Right Place, Right Time

Bob and Brenda Horne

Brenda Horne was concerned about her husband, Bob, among other issues.

He was in Roper Hospital last year for double bypass heart surgery. She also was busy running her Mt. Pleasant business, Salon Capelli, worrying about their son who was deployed overseas as an infantryman in the U.S. Army and dealing with her ailing grandmother.

“I guess it just all caught up with me,” Brenda said. “I told somebody I didn’t feel well, but that’s the last thing I remember.”

She was visiting Bob in his room on the fifth floor of Roper Hospital when she slid out of her chair. It was a stress-induced cardiac arrest. Her heart simply stopped.

If she hadn’t been exactly where she was at the time, the outcome could have been much different.

“If the people at Roper had not been right there, I probably wouldn’t be here,” she said.

Having heart specialists nearby literally saved Brenda’s life. The window for action in this type of scenario to avoid death or permanent damage is roughly three minutes.

“They took me straight to cardiac intensive care,” Brenda recalled. “I spent several weeks there as they did thermal cooling of my heart. They said it was touch and go for a while.”

The next thing she knew, she was in a room across the hall from her husband. Fortunately, both went home and are doing well.

“He went home before I did,” Brenda said with a laugh. “We can joke about it now, but it wasn’t funny at the time. Bob likes to tell people he saved my life, and he’s right. Brenda has a defibrillator attached to her heart in case this happens again. But for now, she’s just glad it turned out the way it did.

“The people at Roper are just amazing,” she said. “I’m lucky to be alive.”