Ruth Marsh is one lucky lady and she counts her blessings every day. Now, she’s telling her story on film as she stars in a new commercial for in Farmington Hills.
Marsh survived sudden cardiac arrest last year, primarily due to quick, decisive action by Farmington first responders and the Botsford Emergency Room staff. She can’t say enough about the wonderful treatment she received at Botsford then, and continues to receive as she participates in their cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Also appearing in Botsford’s new commercial are Ruth’s husband Ken Marsh, Farmington paramedic Glen Gilman, Botsford Emergency Room Department Head Dr. Sandy Vieder, Emergency Room physician Dr. Diane Kaiser and RN Linda Smith. The ER staff provided the initial emergency care for Marsh upon her arrival at Botsford.
About a year ago, Marsh and her husband Ken were out shopping, buying a gift for one of their granddaughters. As Ken Marsh drove, Ruth Marsh appeared to doze off, which, according to her husband, wasn’t all that unusual.
They were at the intersection of Grand River and Farmington Road when Ken said he gave his wife a poke to wake her up. Instead of rousing, her head fell forward, her eyes rolled back in her head and she stopped breathing.
Ken reacted quickly, pulled into a nearby parking lot and called 911.
“Ken is my hero. He saved my life," Marsh said. "And, he’s my best friend. We’ve been married seven years, and we’ve been together for 23. We’ve been through a lot together and we take care of each other."
Farmington police officers responded to Ken’s 911 call in less than one minute and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Paramedics Glen Gilman and Shaina Shevin of Community EMS arrived on their heels and took over, continuing CPR, connecting Ruth to cardiac monitor and defibrillator, and transporting her to Botsford’s Level 2 Trauma Center in Farmington Hills.
Even though her heart was beating again after defibrillation, the prognosis for Ruth was far from encouraging – only one in five victims of sudden cardiac arrest survive. Of those who do survive the initial event, only 1% escapes brain damage, which is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.
Happily, Ruth beat the odds. She remained unconscious for five days in the Botsford Intensive Care Unit, but awoke with no significant brain issues.
Since the initial cardiac event, doctors discovered several blockages in her heart, and she’s had seven cardiac stents put in. Because of that, she’s never suffered a heart attack. What’s more, when you meet her today, you’d never know she had come so close to death.
“I’m still in cardiac rehab, and probably will be for most of my life. The rehab program at Botsford is wonderful -- my nurse takes care of me like she’s my mother. I do three times a week 90% of the time,” said Marsh.
Paramedics Glen Gilman and Shaina Shevin each received a “Civilian Citation for Lifesaving” award from the city of Farmington, as did the two police officers who were first on the scene.
Botsford is the only Level 2 Trauma Center in the area, and provides coverage not only for the Farmington and Farmington Hills communities, but also for many other municipalities to the west and south.
The commercial is slated to air in February on local stations.