A mother has captured a heartbreaking video of her two-year-old daughter momentarily ‘dying’ in her arms as her heart stops when she feels scared or sad.
In the distressing clip, sad Bethany Davis was standing next to her 31-year-old mom, Natalie Davis, when she suddenly went limp as she stopped breathing.
Natalie was left cradling her daughter’s body as the girl’s heart stopped beating.
The mother-of-five placed her daughter on the floor and after a few seconds, Bethany started to cry as her mother soothed her.
Even a small amount of pain or fear can trigger a miscommunication between the young girl’s otherwise healthy brain and heart, causing her heart to stop beating for a few seconds.
In some cases, Natalie and her 31-year-old husband Paul Davis, have watched in horror as their daughter turns blue. They described the fear or hearing their other kids call for them because Bethany ‘is dead’ when the girl has an episode in front of her siblings.
“It’s the scariest thing. My kid is in my arms lifeless and I can’t help her,” Natalie shared.
“When the episodes first started I would go into full panic mode and ball my eyes out. I’ve always considered myself a calm person but I’d be the crazy person calling 911 and they would have to ask me to calm down because they couldn’t understand me.
“Before an episode, Bethany gets this panicked look on her face then she just quits breathing. Her whole body goes stiff and she turns blue and sometimes she starts jerking.”
Bethany has always been healthy until her first attack last year after she bumped her head. Natalie contacted emergency services as the girl collapsed and stopped breathing but when the ambulance arrived, she was already back to normal. Tests also revealed her vitals were good.
“The second time it happened, she was walking towards me upset with her arms out ready for a hug and she just collapsed and turned blue,” Natalie said.
A neurologist they visited could not find anything wrong with Bethany’s brain, leading him to a conclusion of ‘breath-holding spells,’ just like the answer given to them by a previous doctor.
But further tests revealed a glitch in the communication between Bethany’s brain and heart when she experiences even the smallest amount of pain or fear.
It was in November when she was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope, a form of fainting that causes her to pass out when hurt or scared.
With young children being prone to scrapes and bumps, Paul and Natalie always find themselves on edge as they don’t know when their girl’s heart will stop again.
She had surgery to place a loop recorder implant to feed doctors information on her heart rate.
There was a time when Bethany’s heart had stopped for 4.8 seconds during an episode and “2.7 seconds while she was asleep and it terrified me.”
If her heart starts to stop for extended periods, she may need a pacemaker fitted. But her parents are determined to try other options before the surgery.
Paul and Natalie want to get their daughter a medical support dog trained to alert them before an attack.
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