Procedure Helps Metro Mom Survive Heart Attack

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Mother's Day carried extra importance for a metro mother of three. She had a heart attack in November, 2011. It was so severe, her heart stopped beating for 25 minutes.

Cyndi Niezer survived because of a procedure known as "CODE  ICE."  Niezer spent her 41st birthday in a coma. A blood clot caused a heart attack that would've killed anyone a few years ago. Her husband feared the worst.

"Doctors tried multiple drugs and multiple procedures to get her heart started," said Brad Niezer. "They said  it was developed I believed from kids falling through the ice you know underwater for 45 minutes well you pull them out and they're 100 percent fine maybe there's something to this."

Dr. Ujjaval Patel says conventional methods got Niezer's heart beating again but the only reason her heart and more importantly her brain have no long-term damage is because of CODE ICE.

"Basically, you're putting the brain at rest  the metabolism of the brain tissue goes down so they can sustain even with the minimal or limited amount of oxygen," Dr. Patel said.

The patient and doctor have a special bond now and her family is especially thankful. Doctors at Menorah Medical Center say CODE ICE may be used in the future for stroke victims. There are also efforts to start using it in ambulances for heart attack victims.

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