From "I Love You" to "I Do" at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
By Kara SpakNews February 15, 2016
The Chicago couple wed in the hospital’s chapel on Jan. 27, 2016, the one-year anniversary of Shayna’s cardiac arrest at just 33 years old.
Months after climbing to the base camp of Mount Everest, Shayna, a physical therapist and athlete, beat the odds to survive the medical crisis, which included days in a medically induced coma at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Josh, who met Shayna’s family for the first time while she was in the hospital, never left her side.
After months of testing at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, Shayna learned she had a congenital heart condition. She now has a pacemaker and defibrillator.
The experience motivated her to form Heartability, a group to educate and support young women with heart disease. It also motivated her and Josh to take the plunge into married life together.
“Life is a choice,” she said. “You cannot be afraid. You have to choose to be present, open your heart and experience it as much as you can because it truly is short. Josh and I wanted to celebrate that together.”
The scar from where a pacemaker and defibrillator was inserted was visible on her wedding day, which was also the day Shayna and Josh announced to their family they are expecting a baby. They plan to deliver at Prentice Women’s Hospital.
“I am grateful to Northwestern Memorial, particularly Dr. Susan Kim, and the other doctors and nurses who saved my life,” Shayna said. “I have a lot more life in me to give back.”