June 26, 2014 4:10 pm

12-year-old dancer who ‘dropped dead’ 8 months ago now thriving

VANCOUVER – Jamie Cole is back to doing what she loves best – competing in Irish dancing and enjoying being a 12-year-old girl.

No one would believe eight months ago she literally dropped dead during warm-up at her dance school.

“After I woke up I remember seeing a doctor on Halloween dressed up, and I thought I was dreaming,” she said.

Jamie had been in a coma for three days in the Intensive Care Unit. Remarkably, her damaged voice box is now the only obvious sign of what happened to her.

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Jamie survived the cardiac event because one of the other parents at dance class was a doctor who performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.

“I’m so grateful it happened here and not walking home from school,” said Jamie’s mom Susan Clyde.

Jamie had been recently diagnosed with three separate heart conditions and her medical team thought she was at a very low risk of sudden death.

However, that changed at her dance school on October 28.

Once Jamie recovered, Cardiac Services BC approved a new type of defibrillator that could be implanted in her chest – a first in Canada.

It is smaller and shaped to fit a child. It also has a longer battery life.

Jamie and her mom can also monitor the device through the Internet.

“The amount of detail you can get is really substantial,” said Dr. Shu Sanatani. “You can receive regular check-up information but we can also ask the family to send information at specified times or when they’re concerned.”

“Plus the device can monitor itself.”

Heart problems do run in the family. Jamie’s mom got her defibrillator two weeks after her daughter.

Both continue to be followed closely by doctors, but this technology means fewer visits to the hospital.

- With files from Elaine Yong

 

© Shaw Media, 2014

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