Seventeen-year-old Kelli MacTaggart and her mother, Chrissy, of Greenwich, were ecstatic during their recent visit to Greenwich Hospital’s emergency department. And, the doctors and first responders were jubilant, too. Kelli and her mom had stopped by to thank the hospital and Greenwich Emergency Medical Service (GEMS) staff for saving her life.
The Greenwich Academy junior has no memory of the cardiac arrest episode that had a multitude of GEMS staffers and Greenwich Hospital doctors working hard to keep her alive.
“To see you standing here today is a miracle,” said Christopher Davison, medical director of the emergency department. “We didn’t think this was going to end well.”
Kelli’s ordeal began when she fainted on the path from Greenwich Academy to Brunswick School. Her classmates immediately called 911. First responders administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and used a defibrillator multiple times to resuscitate her heart before arriving at the hospital.
At the hospital, Kelli had additional episodes of cardiac arrest. Kelli was experiencing ventricular tachycardia or V-tach, a type of fast heart rate that arises from improper electrical activity in the ventricles of the heart. The Greenwich team stabilized the teen who was transferred to Westchester Medical Center and later Columbia Presbyterian for further treatment.
Kelli is scheduled to receive an automated implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a device implanted inside the body that can correct most life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. “I’m just so happy to have her. They saved her life,” her mom said.
“Kelli’s visit means a lot to all of us here,” said Davison. “Oftentimes, we don’t know what happens to patients once they leave the emergency department. Seeing Kelli was an awesome sight.”