Woman Collapses in Cardiac Arrest During Wedding Anniversary Getaway


Lisa Cardillo, 36, and her husband, Dominic, planned a fun getaway in Grand Rapids, MI, to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Dominic had recently completed treatment for brain cancer, so the couple booked tickets to see one of their favorite bands. When they arrived, Lisa felt a burning sensation in her chest and a hot pain sear through to her back. Dominic immediately brought Lisa to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Once in the emergency department, Lisa collapsed at the registration desk, hitting her head on the counter as she fell. The medical staff realized she was in cardiac arrest and began CPR immediately. They also shocked her twice.

Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Ryan Madder, evaluated Lisa’s heart and identified the cause of her heart attack as a tear in the lining of an artery that supplies the heart—an event known as spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). The spontaneous tear causes bleeding within the arterial wall, and the accumulating blood collapses the vessel, blocking blood flow to part of the heart. Lisa was sedated and remained in the ICU. She unfortunately developed cardiogenic shock and her ejection fraction dropped to only 10% (55-70% is normal). Dr. Madder implanted the Impella CP® device to support Lisa’s weak heart and allow it to rest. Shortly after, Lisa’s heart had recovered enough to function on its own and the Impella heart pump was removed.

After nine days in the hospital, Lisa was discharged and returned home to her family. Today, Lisa’s ejection fraction is normal, and she cherishes every moment with her husband and three children.

Learn more about Impella® heart pumps