November 9, 2023

Lisa Cardillo

Six years ago, Lisa Cardillo, 36, and her husband Dominic were celebrating their 15th anniversary on a weekend getaway when Lisa felt a sudden, stabbing pain in her chest and became nauseated. Her husband drove while Lisa searched on her phone for local hospitals. Within 12 minutes, Lisa arrived at the hospital and went into cardiac arrest as she entered the ER, collapsing at registration. She received chest compressions and two defibrillator shocks. Lisa had experienced a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), which had blocked off the whole left artery causing arrest. After a catheterization was performed, she went into cardiogenic shock and her ejection fraction fell to 10-15%. Her doctor inserted the Impella® heart pump, supporting her heart for two days before it was weaned and explanted. She learned to stand, walk, and eat again.

Heart recovery has allowed Lisa to spend quality time with her family. Lisa shares her story to help others who develop SCAD and cardiogenic shock. She also teaches Hands-Only CPR with the American Heart Association, as she knows the value of a saved life for herself and her family.


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