Woman dies 36 times in a single year
March 9, 2015 | 14 comments
The unusual condition keeps causing the heart to stop beating. Image Credit: sxc.hu
Sara Brautigam suffers from a rare condition that stops her heart beating for up to a minute at a time.
The 21-year-old from Doncaster, South Yorkshire was diagnosed four years ago with Postural orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, an ailment that causes her heart to stop beating and her blood pressure to drop to a level usually associated with clinical death.
Every time this happens it is necessary for medics to try to shock her back to life by inflicting physical pain, an unfortunate solution given that she also suffers from a condition that makes her joints particularly prone to injury and dislocation.
The combination of both ailments has seen her ending up in hospital 64 times in a single year.
"There are signs before it happens - I'll feel dizzy or sick and really tired and then I feel as though I'm falling asleep," she said. "After an attack I'll wake up and my chest will be killing and I’m really tired."
Given the number of times that her heart has stopped beating due to her condition many people have asked her if she has ever had any near-death experiences.
"I get asked it quite a lot, but there is definitely no bright light," she said. "Everything just goes black."
"You can still hear things and there is a voice in my head that is still active and still conscious and it is trying to communicate with those around me. I can remember what people are saying when I black out but have no other awareness of what's going on."
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