Huffpost Parents

Zach Hilary, 2-Year-Old, Recovers After Heart Stops For 39 Minutes

Posted: Updated:

Trudy and Dave Hilary from York, U.K. faced every parents' nightmare when their toddler, Zach, suffered a heart attack. Now a healthy 2-year-old, he is considered a medical marvel, thanks to his mother.

In January, Trudy, who is a paramedic, saw Zach had collapsed and was groaning. She started to perform CPR, The Telegraph reports, and called 999 (U.K.'s version of 911). Once a team of paramedics arrived, they took over resuscitation and transferred Zach to to the hospital. That's when the family found out what had happened.

At the hospital, the boy was given three adrenalin shocks and eventually, Zach's heart started beating normally. Medics say that Trudy's commitment to CPR as well as help from the paramedics is what ultimately saved his life, itvNEWS reports.

“It felt like an absolute lifetime waiting to find out if he would live or die. The doctors told me that the prognosis was not good, that his heart had stopped beating for 39 minutes, and to prepare myself for the worst. It was just devastating,” Trudy told The Telegraph.

After Zach's heart started beating, there were complications. Doctors told the Hilarys that they needed to put him into an induced coma to reduce swelling in his brain, The Daily Mail reports. He was on a ventilator for nine days, and once he could breathe on his own, an an MRI scan showed he had suffered brain damage. He didn't recognize his family, or anyone he knew.

Then, after just two weeks of therapy, a breakthrough. "He looked at me, went 'M,' like he was trying to say 'Mama,'" Trudy told The Daily Mail.

From there, he recovered steadily and was released to go home a month later.

“It has been like watching a newborn in fast motion. He has had to learn to eat, hold a cup, walk and talk all over again, all in the past few months,” Trudy told The Telegraph.

According to itvNews, Zach was recently reunited with the paramedics (pictured above) who helped save his life and was even given a tour of an ambulance. The Hilarys have also teamed up with Zach's nursery school to raise money for the Children’s Neuroscience Ward at Leeds General Infirmary, The York Press reports.