Teen thanks healthcare heroes who saved her life

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Greenwich resident Kelli MacTaggart, 17, visited Greenwich Hospital Thursday to thank the Emergency Department staff and first responders from Greenwich Emergency Medical Service for saving her life last month. Pictured here (l-r) are Kristin Harkin, MD, Janice DelVecchio, Cerrah Mendelsohn, MD, Will Pendleton, Dennis Fogler, Kelli MacTaggart, Chrissy MacTaggart, Christopher Davison, MD and Johane Samedy, RN.
Greenwich, CT (Feb. 8, 2018) – Seventeen-year-old Kelli MacTaggart of Greenwich has no memory of the cardiac arrest episode that had a multitude of Greenwich Hospital doctors and Greenwich Emergency Medical Service (GEMS) first responders scrambling to save her life last month.

On Thursday, the Greenwich Academy junior and her mother, Chrissy MacTaggart, were back at Greenwich Hospital’s Emergency Department – only this time the teen was surrounded by jubilant doctors and first responders grateful to see her alive. The two stopped by to thank the hospital and GEMS staff.

“To see you standing here today is a miracle,” said Christopher Davison, MD, medical director of Greenwich Hospital’s Emergency Department. “We didn’t think this was going to end well.”

Kelli’s ordeal began when she fainted on the path from Greenwich Academy to Brunswick School. Her class mates immediately called 911. First responders administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and used a defibrillator multiple times to resuscitate her heart before arriving at the hospital.

At Greenwich Hospital, a team of doctors and nurses feverishly cared for Kelli, who continued to experience episodes of cardiac arrest. Kelli was experiencing ventricular tachycardia or V-tach, a type of fast heart rate that arises from improper electrical activity in the ventricles of the heart. The Greenwich team stabilized the teen, who was transferred to Westchester Medical Center and later Columbia Presbyterian for further treatment.

MacTaggart said Kelli is scheduled to receive an automated implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a device implanted inside the body that can correct most life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. “I’m just so happy to have her,” MacTaggart said on Thursday. “They saved her life.”

“Kelli’s visit means a lot to all of us here,” said Dr. Davison. “Oftentimes, we don’t know what happens to patients once they leave the Emergency Department. Seeing Kelli was an awesome sight.”

Greenwich Hospital is a member of Yale New Haven Health. Greenwich is a 206-bed (includes 32 isolettes) community hospital serving lower Fairfield County, Connecticut and Westchester County, New York. It is a academic affiliate of Yale School of Medicine. Since opening in 1903, Greenwich Hospital has evolved into a progressive medical center and teaching institution representing all medical specialties and offering a wide range of medical, surgical, diagnostic and wellness programs. Greenwich Hospital is recognized throughout the healthcare industry as a leader in service and patient satisfaction excellence. Greenwich Hospital has the prestigious Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence.

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