DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A West Virginia nurse who traveled to South Florida to administer COVID-19 vaccines expressed her gratitude toward the medical team who helped save her life after she suffered a heart attack.
Thursday was an emotional and unforgettable day for Holly Campbell. The 42-year-old reunited with the frontline workers who tended to her at Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach.
The nurse of more than 15 years said she remembers a lot of the faces from another unforgettable day in her life about three weeks ago, when she had her medical emergency.
“Without these people, I would not be here,” she said. “Very emotional. They saved my life.”
She credited a higher power for ending up in South Florida and in the care of these emergency medical technicians, nursing staff and doctors.
“I felt 100% God placed me in this area,” she said.
Campbell, a travel nurse from West Virginia, was one week into her two-week trip to administer vaccines in a senior living community at the time of her heart attack.
She said she was three hours into her shift on Jan. 30 when she started feeling a heaviness in her chest.
“Then I started becoming short of breath, diaphoretic sweating, and I knew I was having a heart attack,” she said. “It was a shock at 42.”
Campbell said she urged the people around her to call 911. Fortunately, she was only a 5-minute ride away.
“In the emergency room, she actually required four shocks to get her heart back into the right rhythm, prior to her being able to come to the cardiac cath lab for us to perform an emergency procedure,” said Violeta McCormack, M.D., an interventional cardiology specialist at Broward Health North.
The surgery went well, and her doctors said Campbell’s cardiac and neurological outcomes have been great.
Now she and her caregivers have a message for the public.
“It’s very important that if anyone at home develops signs of a heart attack — which is chest pain, chest pressure, indigestion, numbness in their arms — that they call 911 immediately and seek medical attention,” said Dr. Dean Nottingham, an emergency room physician at Broward Health North.
Campbell said she’s healthy aside from high blood pressure and has no family history of heart attacks as far as she knows. She has some important follow-up appointments ahead of her, so she’s not headed back home just yet.
“I’m staying here because I trust the doctors here, so I’m staying here for the next three to six months. This is where I’ll be,” she said.
For her birthdays moving forward, Campbell said she doesn’t want presents. Instead, she will ask family and friends to donate to Broward Health’s cardiology department.
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