Meet Sabrina Robinson
Sabrina Robinson was at home in Burlingame, Kansas, with her son, Zachary, when she suddenly got very hot. A licensed practical nurse in a cardiologist’s office, she thought she might be having a stroke. “I called 911,” she said, “but within a minute or two I became so short of breath and dizzy that I couldn’t talk, and Zachary took over.” He had just turned 6 the week before.
When EMS arrived, they didn’t detect anything wrong. Sabrina — aware that medical personnel doubted she had any problems — insisted on going to the hospital, which was in Topeka, Kansas, 35 miles away.
“I just started bawling,” said Sabrina, who was 36 at the time. “I thought I was going to die in the back of the ambulance with these people who thought I was faking it.”
Finally, halfway to Topeka, they determined that she was having a heart attack and switched on the lights and siren. The driver radioed the hospital that they were on the way. The catheterization lab was ready by the time she arrived, and there, a heart surgeon Sabrina knew told her that they couldn’t place a stent because her left anterior descending artery had torn.
“I knew all of these people, and I could tell from the looks on their faces that I was in trouble,” Sabrina said.