Jake Anderson had a cold — but nothing about it seemed unusual until the 25-year-old newlywed collapsed in the shower at home in St. Charles, Missouri one evening.
Anderson, who was looking forward to becoming a dad in July, had been congested and coughing for only “a couple of days” when he lost consciousness on Dec. 30, his wife Paige Kennedy-Anderson told local outlet KMOV. After she saw his eyes roll back in his head, according to the family’s GoFundMe page, she immediately began attempting CPR on him.
“I could feel him going cold underneath my hands as I was pumping on his chest,” she recalled to the TV station. “Who would think you’d go to shower to relieve congestion and your heart would just stop?”
EMTs arrived and treated Anderson for 40 minutes in the couple’s apartment, the GoFundMe page explains. His heart began beating again in the ambulance on the way to St. Joseph Hospital.
There, doctors said Anderson was suffering from myocarditis, or an inflamed heart caused by a viral infection. In Anderson’s case, it is suspected to be rhinovirus, the source of the common cold. Usually, myocarditis resolves itself without showing symptoms, according to WebMD, but in rare cases can lead to heart failure if left untreated.
Anderson’s treatment team elected to medically induce a coma “to protect his brain and his organs,” Kennedy-Anderson explained to KMOV.
For a full 48 hours, it was unclear if Anderson was going to survive, but by Wednesday Jan. 2 he could recognize voices and move his hands and feet, according to the outlet.
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According to KMOV, doctors expect Anderson’s brain to fully recover.
“I feel very uncertain,” Kennedy-Anderson said in a GoFundMe statement. “But I know I am strong and Jake is too.”