Pregnant woman saves husband shortly before giving birth

Andrew Goette and his wife, Ashley, look at their baby, Lennon.
Andrew Goette and his wife, Ashley, look at their son, Lennon, at United Hospital on Tuesday. Ashley Goette was 39 weeks pregnant with their first child when Andrew suffered a cardiac arrest at home in West St. Paul earlier this month.
Jiwon Choi | MPR News

A West St. Paul woman in her 39th week of pregnancy saved her husband's life by giving him CPR after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

On Oct. 16, Ashley Goette awoke at about 5 a.m. and found her husband, Andrew, gasping for air. She called 911 and a dispatcher walked her through applying CPR.

"They wanted me to get him down to a hard surface," Ashley Goette said. "But I explained to them that I'm 39 weeks pregnant and I couldn't get him on the floor. So, they told me the bed was fine. So, I started doing CPR on the bed."

EMTs arrived and took her husband to United Hospital in St. Paul. Andrew Goette was placed in an induced coma and his body cooled to minimize possible brain damage.

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Doctors feared that Andrew Goette might have suffered severe damage from the cardiac arrest. They told Ashley Goette to start thinking about wills and hospice care. But she said she wouldn't give up.

"I didn't want to have to think for one second about having to do any of this without him," she said at a press conference at United Hospital. "I kept telling him the whole time he was asleep or in his coma that I was not going to have this baby until he woke up."

Andrew Goette did regain consciousness, fully responsive and neurologically intact. And last Friday he watched the birth of the couple's first child, a son, Lennon, through a streaming video on his phone. And he got to hold the baby soon after.

"I was just so excited to be able to see him be born," he said. "It felt like I was there."

Ashley Goette had been admitted to the Mother Baby Center at nearby United and Children's Minnesota. She and baby Lennon have been discharged from the birth center but are staying at United Hospital until Andrew Goette is discharged.

Dr. Alex Teeters, a critical care physician, cared for Andrew Goette through his first couple of days at United Hospital.

"I don't think Andrew would be here today if it wasn't for the actions of Ashley," he said. "She recognized that there was a problem and called for help. ... Luckily, he woke up and was himself. So, we were just so happy."

The doctor said that Andrew Goette has Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, which puts people at increased risk of heart rhythm problems. Andrew Goette has had a corrective procedure and Teeters says his patient's prognosis is "fantastic."

Ashley Goette says friends, family and hospital staff have been incredibly supportive.

"I am extremely thankful for all the prayers because I sincerely believe that we wouldn't have the outcome that we do if it wasn't for everybody's thoughts and prayers and good vibes and praying for the doctors and praying for the nurses and praying for us and praying for our families," she said. "Yeah, I will be going to church this Sunday."

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help the couple with medical expenses.