During a particularly thrilling portion of a sporting event, some people say the expression, “My heart stopped,” but Marni Drechsel’s literally did.
The Cedar Park Christian (Bothell, Wash.) volleyball coach went into cardiac arrest during the first set of a Sept. 24 match against rival Archbishop Murphy (Everett, Wash.). The last thing she remembers, per a wonderful profile of Drechsel penned by intrepid Seattle Times prep reporter Sandy Ringer, was a spike by her daughter — Class of 2017 Maryland commit Samantha Drechsel.
We’ll let Tom Drechsel describe the harrowing moments after his wife lost consciousness on the sidelines. Here are his thoughts, as told to Ringer, of watching an assistant coach and an opposing player’s father — both of whom were former EMTs — and a nurse in attendance all rush to treat her on the sidelines, including the application of a defibrillator on the gymnasium floor:
“Then it got surreal,” Tom said, admitting he thought the worst. “She wasn’t breathing. She started turning blue.”[…]
“They shocked her three times and it didn’t work,” Tom said. “It was not going well.”
Grief soon turned to relief when EMTs from the Bothell Fire Department resuscitated Marni Drechsel’s heart and CPC’s athletic director relayed the news to the team. She spent a couple days in intensive care and had a pacemaker installed to treat what turned out to be a heart rhythm condition called Long QT syndrome, according to The Seattle Times. A couple of weeks later, she returned to practice, and after attending an Oct. 13 sweep of Granite Falls (Wash.) without issue, she was back on the bench two days later for another sweep of Lakewood (Arlington, Wash.).
“It just shows that God is still performing miracles right in front of our eyes,” Marni told The Seattle Times.[…]
“Now, I wake up wanting to do what God wants me to do. He’s definitely given me a second chance … I used to pack my day full of stuff and was so busy at times I didn’t even see my husband (Tom) until after club practice at 9:30. I was going too fast and not recognizing what a gift life is.”
Marni Drechsel had a 10 percent chance of survival when she fainted onto an assistant’s shoulder, Ringer reported. A month later, she’s prepping for the Class 2A state tournament. Life is good.