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When her heart stopped beating, this team kept it pumping for 25 minutes

We were rotating out nurses, respiratory therapists, techs, everybody, as soon as they got tired... we would switch out."

COVINGTON, La. — When a Covington woman was feeling chest pain, she called 911 for help, but she doesn't remember doing that.

And when her heart stop beating for nearly a half-hour, the medical team did not give up on her. Monday she got to thank them for saving her life.

It's the second time Renee Read has been in the emergency room at Lakeview Regional Medical Center. She doesn't remember the first.

“I keep saying this, you all didn't give up. You just kept going, and that just means so much to me. It gives me, gives me my life back with my children,” said heart patient, Renee Read, 71, of Covington.

She came back to the hospital Monday for a gathering of the medical team that saved her life. There was the Acadian Ambulance EMS team got her from home and started CPR when she coded.

“It's a very, very surreal thing seeing her talking, walking. It's amazing, and it's a great feeling,” said Acadian Ambulance Paramedic, Christina Spicuzza.

“It reinforces every single reason why I even want to do this job,” said Lindsey Humble, an Emergency Medical Technician with Acadian Ambulance.

There was nurse practitioner, Michelle Accardo, who said COVID has made being in health care difficult with the losses, but Renee surviving with no brain damage has reinvigorated her.

There was an emergency room physician who, along with his team, did CPR for 25 minutes.

“It's pretty exhausting. We were rotating out nurses, respiratory therapists, our techs, everybody, as soon as they got tired, and the compressions started getting a little inefficient, we would switch out,” remembers Dr. Health Nugent, an Emergency Room Physician at Lakeview Regional Medical Center.

Nothing was working. Then a last-ditch effort. The medical team tried something not usually done. They shocked her with, not two paddles, but four. 

“Now she's been through leukemia, two heart attacks, and a stroke, and she could probably take on a lot more. It's going to be remarkable to have holidays together especially when it could have gone a lot differently,” said Renee’s son, Joseph Mann.

“I've got another chance with my family with my friends,” said Read.

The medical team did what it trained many years to do in the E.R., but the impact will runs for miles far away into each home of the many in Renee's life.

She had 100 percent blockage in the largest coronary artery. Doctors put a stent in to open it up.

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