Cally's story: Long QT stops a young mother's heart.

Anyone with a newborn knows that sleep doesn't come easy. But for a young South Bend mom, she's lucky she awoke.

Just a week after her newest daughter Isabella was born, Cally Baker's husband Jeremy couldn't wake her up. Her heart had stopped from an undiagnosed condition she didn't know she had.
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Jeremy explains what happened that fateful December morning, "We were laying there in bed, sleeping, and I woke up and she started making noises like she was having a nightmare so I went to shake her a little bit and she wouldn't come to."
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Jeremy immediately called 9-1-1 and followed their instructions, but by the time the ambulance got there he says his 23 year old wife was gone.
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"She died on me and I basically had to sit there and watch her til the ambulance got there. There was no movement, no nothing. she was gone."
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Now three months later, Cally, Jeremy, Isabella and their oldest daughter, Jamee along with Grandpa and Grandma are doing their best to enjoy family time together.
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Cally, always healthy, wanted to share her story in hopes of saving another life. She had never heard of the genetic heart problem that nearly killed her. It's called long QT syndrome. Explaining how it works, "It's when your heartbeat beats so fast that it can't regulate on its own."
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Sadly, for many, the first sign they have is sudden death.
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Jeremy says when the ambulance got Cally to Memorial Hospital in South Bend her heart was beating again but she was put into a medically induced coma, and doctors alternated heating and cooling her body. He says the next four days were a nightmare. Cally's heart stopped four more times, explaining, "Everytime they would call a code blue it was her."
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This young father says he didn't even want to think about raising their two daughters on his own. "I just kept thinking, she can't leave me."
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Once doctors diagnosed Cally with Long QT Syndrome, she was taken into surgery and a defibrillator was implanted to regulate her heartbeat.
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She says she feels good now but knew when she was pregnant with Isabella something was wrong and went to the doctor. "I was just really tired all the time. I was getting lightheaded and had headaches and at that point I just knew something wasn't right."
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But the doctors sent her home. Looking back Cally says she should have pushed harder.
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Once she awoke from her coma doctors warned Jeremy that Cally's memory might be affected. She explained her forgetfullness upon waking, "I didn't remember my youngest which was a little upsetting because you, cries, sorry I didn't think I was going to cry, you don't want to not remember your children and so for me that was probably the hardest part of waking up."
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But she did know Jeremy and he remembers what happened when the nurses asked her if she knew who the man in the room was, "They told me they didn't know how far a memory she would have if she came out of it, and when she grabbed my finger I called her mom and told her she woke up and I took a picture of her holding my hand."
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Cally had speech, physical and occupational therapy and made it home in time for Christmas and is forever thankful for a second chance at life. "My philosophy now is just to live one day at a time and be as happy as can be doing it."
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Sadly in one out of ten people sudden death is the first sign that they have Long QT Syndrome.

Some symptoms include unexplained fainting and fluttering feelings in the chest before fainting.

Cally says an EKG test can detect and record the heart's electrical activity and help doctors make a diagnosis.
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And since she had never heard of the disorder she has started a foundation to make others aware and to help other families with the financial burden that long hospitalizations and therapy can cause.
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It's called The Praying Heart Foundation. If you would like to know more or make a donation you can click on the link to Cally's Go Fund Me site.

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