Health Beat - Summer 2020 - 11

close observation and care but
prepared Chad for the worst.

A Miraculous Recovery
Four days after hospital admission, Rocio had small responses
to light, then more significant
responses after about a week.
"They said in six months she
will be back to close to normal,"
Chad says. "But within 24 hours
[of that news] she was talking,
moving and recognizing people.
She got a defibrillator (a device
to detect and fix abnormal heartbeats) on the 13th, a walker
on the 15th and on the 22nd
she came home. She recovered
so quickly."
Because she was without
oxygen for a few minutes after
her heart stopped, Rocio had
to relearn to swallow, talk and
walk. Her memory was affected
too. She has some recollection of
the end of her hospital stay, but
none of the cardiac event nor
her early days of hospitalization.
She wishes she could recognize

faces and names of each of her
caretakers so she could express
her gratitude.
"That's the hard part for me,
is not remembering," Rocio
says. "I rely on my husband to
tell me who was there and who
helped. After hearing stories
and putting pieces together,
I think wow, these doctors are
amazing. I wouldn't be sitting
here right now if it weren't for
all these people."
The Burrs say that the family and community support was
tremendous. Friends and family
visited Rocio in the hospital and
some stayed in the Rebecca A.
Morrison House, a hospitality
house within walking distance
of the main hospital campus.
The Burrs received so much
food that they started sharing
with others who were in waiting rooms at the hospital. Chad
especially recalls the kindness
of the nursing staff.
"Words can't even describe
the nurses in the ICU," Chad

says. "They would hug me, they
would cry with me. They would
make her look presentable
when visitors came."

From Start to Finish
Rocio and Chad were thankful that all of the care Rocio
needed was provided in one
place. In Salina, Rocio was
treated in the Emergency
Department, admitted to the
hospital, had defibrillator
implant surgery, and received
her swallowing, speech, occupational and physical therapy.
Rocio went back to work
full time two weeks after being
discharged from the hospital and continued physical
therapy sessions through the
Salina Regional Outpatient
Physical Therapy Clinic.
She wakes up every day
grateful to be alive, and while
she is not ready to return
to running, Rocio is happy
that her experience did not
interfere with her children's
involvement in sports.
"In spite of it all, weeks after
this happened, our daughter
decided to do cross-country.
That was one of the things I
feared, having her be scared or
think that it was going to happen to her. She did amazing." 1

Just 46 percent of people who
experience a cardiac arrest outside a
hospital receive bystander CPR. Every second
counts following a cardiac arrest. To learn
more from the American Heart Association,
Rocio and Chad Burr with their children, Logan and Annabelle,
six months after Rocio's cardiac arrest.

VISIT the Heart Center online at


Health Beat - Summer 2020

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