HOUSTON - If you and your family are struggling through this period of isolation due to the COVID-19 outbreak, perhaps hearing from this family in Kingwood may make this time easier.
Kate Tiedtke was only 15 years old in December 2019 when she went into full cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
"It was disbelief that it happened because she’s young, extremely fit, one of the top players in the state, if not the country,” explains Kingwood Park High School Girls Soccer Coach Jess White.
Tiedtke was in and out of state weekend soccer tournament in December 2019. She returned home and after school, her heart was racing.
"She said mom here put your hand here you can feel it and you could. It felt like it was beating out of her chest,” explains Kate’s mom Laura Tiedtke. After sitting down to do homework, Mrs. Tiedtke says her daughter’s heart stopped. "Her arms went stiff. Her legs went stiff. She started shaking. She turned gray”.
"We weren’t sure if Kate was going to make it during that period of time. It was pretty difficult to watch,” explains Kate’s dad Darin Tiedtke.
Paramedics worked on the high school sophomore nearly 30 minutes before getting her heart beating again. Two months later, Kate met the heroes who saved her life.
Turns out it was a virus that caused her heart to swell. "Rhinovirus which is just the virus that’s the common cold and it’s pretty rare when it happens but it can affect the heart,” explains her dad.
After being out of school for a while, now Kate is once again restricted to staying home because catching COVID-19 can be serious for those considered high risk like she is. ”We try to play board games. We try to make the best of our current situation,” says her father.
"I just appreciate everything that I’m given so much more because I didn’t realize how much I have until it all could have been taken away from me,” adds Kate who can’t play soccer for now. Although she is still part of the team and enjoys getting weekly messages of encouragement from Coach White who is staying connected with his squad online.
As the Tiedtke family isolates, Cabin Fever has tried to creep in. Then they consider who’s in this cabin. "I think we hug a lot more than we used to,” says Mr. Tiedtke.
"We are all together. Kate is alive. It doesn’t matter after that. I could stay in this house for months,” smiles Mrs. Tiedtke
At her last appointment, Kate’s heart still had an abnormal beat so she’s wearing what’s called a Life Vest. It monitors her heart rate and can shock it into beating again if necessary.