Linda Curry and her daughter Andrea had just spent a fun evening together when the unimaginable happened.
Linda was driving her daughter home when she fell unconscious at the wheel without any warning signs. Linda’s foot remained on the gas pedal, forcing Andrea to navigate the car through three intersections before she could pull it to a stop. She called her boyfriend Brandon Bullock, who lived nearby, her father Bill, and then 911.
The situation was dire: Linda didn’t have a pulse and was experiencing a full cardiac arrest. Brandon and Bill pulled her from the car, and Andrea began CPR. Brandon then took over CPR until Phoenix Fire Department crews arrived and raced Linda to the Abrazo Scottsdale Campus
Linda would go on to spend a week at the hospital being treated for a blockage in her circumflex artery. She received extensive, expert care at the Scottsdale campus: surgery to put in a stent, treatment for three cardiac arrests, a procedure to allow her brain to “cool,” and a medically induced coma so she could heal.
As Linda began recovering, the hospital also provided an array of therapies that enabled her to be discharged to an acute rehabilitation facility for further care.
Linda has no memory of the life-changing crisis that struck April 18, but family members have recounted how the medical staff was both informative and caring. “Without their knowledge of cardiac care and their dedication to the best treatment available, I would not have been able to return to work and care for my children.”
Andrea is in awe of her mother’s strength and recovery.
“She was able to sit at my graduation from ASU nearly a month after this happened. We got to celebrate her on Mother's Day. She saw my brother and sister finish 8th grade…We were able to celebrate her birthday this summer,” Andrea said.
On July 23, the family marked another important occasion: Receiving the prestigious Phoenix Fire Department Hero Award. During an emotional ceremony on the Abrazo Scottsdale campus, Andrea and Bill Curry and Brandon Bullock were recognized publicly for their lifesaving efforts.
That morning, the three heroes were surrounded by the hospital staff that had touched the lives of the Curry family - from the emergency room personnel who worked tirelessly to stabilize Linda to the physical therapists who guided her back to daily living.
“At Abrazo Scottsdale Campus, we care for the whole patient. This means providing excellent medical care as well as supporting families,” said Sara Keown, the hospital's physician relationship manager-transfers/ EMS hospital liaison.
“When we learned that Linda's quick-thinking family members helped keep her alive until emergency responders arrived, we knew we had heroes in our midst. We were honored to organize the Phoenix Fire Department Hero Awards on our campus to recognize and celebrate these life-saving efforts. At the same time, we were able to emphasize the importance of activating the 911 system immediately and performing proper CPR.”
Dr. David Tupponce, Abrazo Scottsdale Campus Chief Executive Officer, was on hand for the ceremony said Abrazo Scottsdale Campus.
“At the core of our care is customer satisfaction. Our staff works tirelessly to ensure that patients like Linda Curry receive not only expert care but wide-ranging support for the best experience possible,” he added.
For 23-year-old Andrea, the recognition ceremony was unexpectedly healing.
“I did not expect an award or to be considered a lifesaver or a hero for responding to a situation where my mom needed me,” she said. “However, this honor has allowed me to now look back on that horrific night in a much better light.”
For 55-year-old Linda, the recognition cemented her belief that Abrazo Scottsdale offers the very best care to patients and their families. The embrace she felt during the ceremony lingers today.
“We felt special. We felt honored,” she said. “We felt a part of the community.”