BARBERTON, Ohio — A Barberton family’s worst nightmare quickly turned into a life-saving moment after their 16-year-old daughter suffered an arrhythmia attack on her heart.
Autumn Boerstler says, “it was a normal day Friday” in May. She had just come home from school. Her mother, Elizabeth Meanyhan, picked her up that day. In a matter of seconds, Boerstler says she felt something was wrong.
“I had just put my bookbag down and then all of a sudden I didn’t feel good,” she remembered. “I felt my chest like flutter.”
But the feeling was vaguely familiar, so she did not panic. As Meanyhan explained, “she had been dealing with it for a for a few years. Of course, I didn’t know and her dad just kind of thought it was low blood sugar.”
“It would just happen at random times and every time this happened I would either eat something or I would either sleep," Boerstler said.
But this time was not normal. Her symptoms progressively worsened.
“I was all pale. Breathing was hard,” Boerstler.
So, Meanyhan decided her daughter needed to go to the hospital so she called 911.
“As a parent, I’m like well it’s better to be safe than sorry and so I called and I’m so glad I did and I’m so glad that they showed up and did what they did,” she said.
Barberton fire first responders arrived within two minutes. After running tests and checking Boerstler’s vital signs, Boerstler was rushed to Akron Children’s Hospital after it was determined her heart was failing and needed to be reset several times.
“When they reset it that was like the moment that it actually set in,” Boerstler said.
Boerstler was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT), which is a common arrhythmia effect that causes the heart to beat too fast. Boerstler needed surgery, but her severe symptoms had already been treated in the ambulance.
“By the time I made it to the hospital and the doctor came out to talk to me and he said they fixed her heart before they got here,” Meanyhan explained. “She survived. That’s the main part.”
The 16-year-old is now cured of SVT, but not without proper thanks to the first responders who arrived after school on Friday afternoon to save her life.
“The cake and the card that we took to them was nothing compared to how thankful we are,” said Meanyhan.
Boerstler echoed her mother saying, “It should be common courtesy. I mean someone saves you, you have to thank them.”