"The vision of her laying there, not moving, not breathing, not responding, was the scariest moment of my life," the mother shared.
A teenage girl suffered a cardiac arrest during a cheerleading competition, and her mother in North Carolina is credited with saving her life with her quick thinking. While warming up ahead of a cheerleading competition earlier this month, 17-year-old Keianna Joe suddenly collapsed and became unresponsive, per PEOPLE.
Her mom, Andrea Joe, a certified medical assistant, rushed to her aid with CPR as she was in cardiac arrest with no pulse. "I saw her coach come running out of the back door of the other building screaming just frantically, 'Get an ambulance. Get an ambulance. We need the ambulance here now'," Andrea said. "I just took over. I know CPR, I know how to do this. This is my baby and I have to save her," she shared.
The mother further described the day of the incident. She shared, "I was like, 'Come on, Keianna Come on. We're not doing this. We're not doing this today'," she said, noting that she performed CPR for nearly 10 minutes. "The vision of her laying there, not moving, not breathing, not responding, was the scariest moment of my life."
Later, Keianna was taken to Duke University Hospital, where medical staff found that she had suffered a cardiac arrest, per Good Morning America. Keianna had surgery to insert an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a battery-operated device that can identify and stop irregular heartbeats, after spending more than a week in the hospital.
Her doctor credits her mother's quick steps for the fact that she is now recovering at home. "Her mom delivering high-quality CPR to her for the few minutes it took to get the AED there basically allowed her to escape with no brain damage," said Dr. Zebulon Zachary Spector, the pediatric cardiologist at Duke University Hospital who performed surgery on Keianna. "And she's probably alive because there was an AED on-site and her mom knew how to use it."
A GoFundMe was set up by the family to raise funds for the "extensive medical bills the Joe family will face". Keieanna is now doing better, focusing on her mental health as she recovers physically, the fundraiser shared. "Please keep sending positive thoughts and prayers as this is truly helpful for her to see all the love that is surrounding her. Her strength is inspirational and we are all so blessed to see her smiling every day!"
The mother-daughter duo now aims to raise more awareness around heart health and emergency first-aid. "This is my healthy 17-year-old kid and it happened so fast," Joe said. "One second she was up in the air, doing motions, smiling, laughing, and the next second she was unresponsive... There were no signs, nothing."
She continued, "You have to have the quick response and the knowledge to be able to respond to something that quickly, to be able to be of assistance."
"I want everyone to be aware of the situation, especially schools, and athletic gyms," said Keianna. "I wasn't expecting to go in there and have this happen to me, but I'm thankful I was surrounded by a bunch of people who knew exactly what to do, who knew how to use an AED and do CPR," she added.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe