Tough Michigan woman who spent 17 days in coma after heart attack pushes to educate others

A Michigan woman who survived a heart attack in her own home is now taking a new approach to save lives.

Sarah Rohde spent 17 days in a medically induced coma following a Sept. 5 heart attack.

The 47-year-old suddenly collapsed in her Huntington Woods home after collapsing on her bed.

Rohde said she thought it was a mistake when she decided to feed another member of her family her favourite snack.

“I think when I first bit it I got dehydrated,” she told WNEM. “Then I started to feel fatigued, tired and a little nauseous.”

Three days later, Rohde awoke from her coma to find doctors performing CPR. She was also rushed to a local hospital where she was kept in a medically induced coma.

“I had a full reversal of the pulse in my arms and legs and my toes, so it was incredible,” she said.

Rohde was reportedly responsive for 48 hours after being critically injured in the cardiac arrest.

The Detroit woman is now at a rehabilitation facility in Lansing.

Rohde underwent successful surgery that saved her life on Sept. 6.

“It feels like I’m old,” she said. “You think of things that just maybe don’t look that way anymore, but I still do.”

Rohde, who got back on her feet after 18 months, is now considering multiple medical uses to warn others about the risks of eating nitrate-free crackers and opened a now-selling heart attack bracelets.

“I was like, ‘What if I can’t walk or put my arms up?’” she said. “So I actually came up with a brace that people have made themselves, where a person can essentially wear a line around their leg and pin it down to show that there’s a lead in there.”

Her goal is to convince Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to have a ribbon made for students to wear.

“It’s not all my fault,” she said. “It just may help somebody else.”

Rohde, who used to have a fairly active lifestyle, said she currently only exercises two to three times a week, but is now trying to get back into working out.

Despite her rehabilitation, Rohde is determined to enjoy life again.

“I really, really appreciate the people that care about me and the friends that support me and love me,” she said. “I just want to live.”

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