WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- The unthinkable happened to a healthy Warrensburg woman just weeks after she had her second child. At age 30, Jenna Tischer had a heart attack and stroke.
On May 11, Tischer celebrated Mother's Day with her husband, three-year-old daughter and six-week-old son.
"We had a great Mother's Day, went to bed and our life changed drastically," she said.
Within hours, Tischer was in intensive care fighting for life. That was after she had awakened with nausea and then stopped breathing. Her husband, Jason, desperately performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
"I held my wife and honestly didn't know if I'd get her back at that point," he said.
Jenna Tischer had suffered a heart attack caused by SCAD or spontaneous coronary artery dissection. A tear occurs in the lining of an artery and that blocks blood flow. For unknown reasons, it can happen to women who've recently given birth.
In Tischer's case, the heart attack resulted in a stroke. At first, she was blind. Now, six months later, she has 20 to 30 percent of her vision. She struggles with strength and endurance. Her mother and in-laws have helped out since.
"It's been hard to learn to parent again and mother again, and there are some things I still can't do," said Tischer.
She hasn't been able to return to work as an elementary teacher. But fellow teachers and friends, Amy Broeker and Tracy Shippy, marvel at all Tischer has accomplished in rehabilitation and at home.
"She has shown us all what it means to be brave and show determination and have a positive attitude," said Broeker.
They have also seen how Tischer's family has struggled with the loss of her income and with medical bills. The friends are holding a benefit chili supper and dessert/gift basket auction on Saturday, November 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Northside Christian Church in Warrensburg. More details are at Jenna's Road to Recovery on Facebook.
"I have the best friends in the world," she said.
Her friends are beside her and will be as she continues to recover from a heart attack and stroke.