While most people enjoy sports to some extent, there are times when sports, along with
everything else gets put on the back burner. That is exactly what happened to Plainview’s
Isabella Norton, who suffered a severe medical emergency at the age of fourteen.
“That day changed my life forever,” Norton recalled. “I was in my bedroom with a friend
when I suddenly passed out. I woke up two days later to find myself in the Intensive Care
Unit at the OU Children’s Hospital. I had tubes down my throat and nose, IV’s in my arms
and hands and a lot of bandages.”
It would turn out that Isabella, who is now a senior at Plainview High School, had gone into
sudden cardiac arrest. While her parents and doctors tried to explain to her what had
happened, it was difficult for her to comprehend and understand. She would later find out
the details of what all happened that day.
“I didn’t just pass out, my heart had stopped, and I wasn’t breathing,” she stated. “My dad
started CPR and my grandfather shortly joined in and continued CPR for about 15 minutes
before the fire truck got there. The firemen took over and used a defibrillator and ended up
shocking me four times before they could get a heartbeat. At that point, it had been
approximately 23 minutes of no heartbeat.”
She was taken to Ardmore hospital and then immediately transported to OU Children’s
Hospital in Oklahoma City. After doctors determined she had suffered from SCA, Isabella
was taken into surgery where she was implanted with a defibrillator. Even with the
diagnosis and the defibrillator in place, Norton was back to 100% yet.
“As I started healing from the surgery, I had a lot of obstacles to overcome,” Isabella said.
“The first was to try and get my memory back, making sure there was no brain damage that
occurred due to the lack of oxygen for so long. Then learning to walk again.”
As she looks back at the entire situation, she does not dwell on the negative. Instead, she is
using it as a time to help others.
“When I’m asked about my story, I like to focus more on awareness of learning CPR and
availability of defibrillators,” she said. “They told my parents I had a six percent chance of
survival. But because of the CPR and defibrillator, I’m still here. I can say I truly am blessed
to be here.”
Isabella has some advice that she lives by and hopes that others will too.
“Treat every moment every day like it’s your last. Tell people you love them. You never
know if it could be the last time you ever see them or hear their voice.”