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Oz mom who died for 12 mins after heart attack comes back to life

June 26, 2011 - Melbourne

An Australian mother who was left brain dead for up to 12 minutes after Heart attack has surprised doctors by surviving from the cardiac arrest with no brain damage.

Kirsty Liddell, 36, from Melbourne, was in an induced coma for five days and needed five heart bypasses after a build-up of cholesterol in her arteries caused the attack on April 30.

Her husband Peter, a partner at KPMG, was the first to rush to his wife's side when she collapsed in their Beaconsfield home while two of their daughters, aged 4 and 6, watched on.

Four days after the attack, MonashHeart director Prof Ian Meredith told Peter that scans suggested another Heart attack was imminent, and they would need to bring forward the highly risky open-heart surgery.

"They weren't confident that she'd survive the next Heart attack, and while it increased the likelihood of complications there was no choice," quoted Peter as saying.

Over eight hours, with her heart stopped and a bypass machine keeping her alive, surgeon cut through her breastbone to replace five diseased coronary arteries.

The surgery was a success, but it wasn't until she awoke in the ward on Mother's Day that doctors could be certain she had suffered no brain damage.


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