A man in his 30s pushed his wife to the ground and started doing CPR on her right away, using the skills he had learned 10 years earlier in training.
As he was on the phone, he proceeded to perform CPR on his wife while waiting for paramedics. Upon arrival, paramedics brought his wife back to life and transported her to the hospital.
She was immediately placed on a respirator and a medical suit to reduce the damage her brain sustained because of the lack of oxygen. She remained in a deep coma for days, with doctors telling Ryan that only one to two percent of similar cases recovered and lived normal lives.
It was determined that Jill had a congenital condition that had caused her heart to stop working properly.
Ryan always stayed by his wife’s side in the hospital and said: “It was grim. I’ll put it that way. Everything they told me was grim.” Ryan wrote in a diary the whole time, and one entry read: “Today could be the worst day of my life. I essentially have to decide whether or not she will die or not.” This entry was dated May 26 days after his wife slipped into a coma.
The next day, he wrote: “I know Jill wouldn’t want to live like this. She’s my soul mate and my wife, my everything in this whole world.”
On June 9, Jill and Ryan’s family arrived at the hospital to say goodbye, and at around 6 p.m., doctors disconnected Jill from the machines keeping her alive.
She didn’t die immediately, and Ryan returned to the hospital at 11 p.m. to keep her company.
“About 11:45, she started getting restless. People told me they call it the last rally. When a person is about to pass, they tend to regain some body function and be able to talk or move—things that they hadn’t been able to do previously. I thought that was it, that was the last rally,” Ryan said.
However, it became clear that she wasn’t just mumbling.
“‘Get me out of here,’ she said, then added: ‘Take me to Ted’s and take me to the Melting Pot.’”
Ryan recounted: “I asked her questions. Simple addition, what our phone number was, our dog’s name, our cat’s name. She answered them all correctly, all of ’em. And I knew, ‘This isn’t the last rally.’”
Speaking to news outlets, Jill said: “When I was in the coma, I don’t remember anything. I don’t remember anything from the heart hospital. I do remember the big shower they wheeled me into every day. Other than that, I don’t remember anything. I did go to inpatient therapy, and I remember all of that. All of the nurses, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists—I remember all of them. They helped me tremendously.”
“I have a little speech that I’m working on. And my short-term memory is off. But other than that, I am doing great,” she added.
“We cherish each day, each minute, and each hour now. Not that we didn’t before, it just puts it in better perspective. We just spend every minute that we can together — going to the grocery store now, we go together, go everywhere together. One of our friends, [said], ‘I’m so jealous. You guys are like newlyweds,’” Jill said, laughing.