Robin's Story

May 28, 2019

Robin Hollingsworth

Robin Hollingsworth was a rising administrator in the Pelham City School District, married and a mother of four young children. A heart attack was the last thing on this 39 year olds mind. However on July 17th of 2012 Robin’s life was changed in an instant when she started complaining of chest pain at 4am. Her husband decided quickly to take her to Shelby Baptist Medical Center.

“Thankfully we live close to the hospital so I figured it wouldn’t be a very long drive even though I didn’t want to initially go.”

Robin HollingsworthWhen Robin and her husband arrived at the hospital, the staff at Shelby Baptist admitted her to a room in the ER. Robin’s husband left the room to call family to let them know they were at the hospital. While none of his calls got through to family, Robin’s husband returned to the room only to find Robin doubled over in pain, complaining of dizziness and then passed out. Nurses and doctors were called into the room to see that Robin didn’t have a pulse. She was having a massive heart attack.

“If my husband had gotten through on any of his calls, he wouldn’t have returned to the room as soon as he did. If that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be here today being able to tell my story.”

Robin was suffering from what’s called a SCAD, or a spontaneous coronary artery dissection. It strikes young women like Robin who show no symptoms until the day of the actual event.

Robin’s arterial wall was shredded. She was put into a medically induced coma, and rushed into the cath lab where Dr. John McBrayer was on call and performed a procedure to put stents in her artery. After the surgery, Robin showed no signs of heart or brain damage.

Following 36 hours of being in a coma, Robin finally came to. After several weeks recovering at the hospital, Robin saw this as an opportunity at a second chance.

“I knew that I was given a second chance at life, and a chance to share my story about what I experienced so I can save other women from the same fate. Not everyone who suffers from a SCAD survives.”

Over the next several years Robin became an elementary school principal in the Pelham School District and now shares her story with students at her school.

“The most important thing I can share about this is to known your body and what it’s trying to tell you. It’s important for women, since they don’t always take care of themselves first.”