Collins Woman Credits 'LifeVest' with Saving Her Life
A Collins woman brought back to life by an relatively unknown device wants to spread the message about what saved her.
Mary Husul had open heart surgery in November, and doctors put her on medications to help her heart get stronger.
In the meantime, they prescribed LifeVest -- which is a wearable defibrillator.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the number one killer in the U.S., resulting in 1,000 deaths every day.
Six weeks after first putting the vest on, Mary says it prevented her from becoming one of those statistics.
After being shocked back to life, doctors implanted a defibrillator and pacemaker.
"I was very scared getting something foreign that I had never heard anything about. But it saved me. I'm here to tell the story that I'm still alive. Without the vest on, I wouldn't have been alive," said Husul.
"She thought she fell asleep, but actually what happened was she had sudden cardiac arrest. In a technical way, she was dead and the device brought her back to life. Patients who have sudden cardiac death at home, their survival rate is 2 to 3 percent. But if they have a LifeVest, the chances of survival improve to up to 98 percent," said Buffalo General Hospital Atrial Fibrillation Center Director Dr. Ashish Bhatia.
Doctors say increased awareness has led more providers to prescribe LifeVest every year.
Company officials say doctors in Western New York prescribe it to 800 people every year.