October 2nd, 2009
01:21 PM ET

No easy answer for cardiac arrest survivor

By Caleb Hellerman
CNN Medical Senior Producer

Last week I traveled with Dr. Sanjay Gupta to Levittown, Pennsylvania, to meet Chris Brooks, a recent college grad who survived an unexplained cardiac arrest that stopped his heart for more than 15 minutes. That he survived – and without brain damage – is pretty incredible, and probably a tribute to the CPR performed by his father and the fact that he was cooled by emergency physicians at the local hospital, and at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was transferred afterwards.

What caught my attention the other day came when we asked Brooks whether doctors had figured out what caused the cardiac arrest in the first place. It’s a life-or-death question; Brooks now has a defibrillator implanted in his chest, and in the past six months it’s been triggered to shock him twice. In other words, his heart is stopping for no obvious reason.

But he hasn’t gone for a battery of tests that might provide an answer. The reason: no health insurance. He was covered by a family policy at the time of his cardiac arrest, but no more. “What we’re dealing now is insurance,” Brooks told us. “I’m 22 years old and not in college any more, so I don’t have insurance. I can’t see [my cardiologist] now. I want to, I guess, but I can’t.” His doctors are looking for a way to make it work, but in the best-case scenario it’s delaying those tests by two to three months - a reminder that even serious illness can slip through the cracks of the current health care system.

Health care bills moving through Congress might make life easier for Brooks; they would let people under 26 still be covered on their parents’ insurance. But the bills would also place a new burden on those 26 or older, by requiring them to purchase insurance or pay a penalty. Critics say people should be free to take the risk of going insurance-free, if they like – or if they can’t afford it.

Are you under 30 without health insurance? Do you have children in that boat? What would you do if there were a serious health crisis?

Programming note: See Chris Brooks’ story as part of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s special, “Cheating Death,” October 17, 8 p.m.

soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. storno brzinol

    so much great info on here, : D.


    May 13, 2021 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AnooEncox

    vorrei prendere il viagra https://llviagra.com/ metro viagra

    May 13, 2021 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. LebnEncox

    professional pharmacy online pharmacy com Kamagra Effervescent

    May 13, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. storno brzinol

    Excellent goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I really like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a terrific website.


    May 14, 2021 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. AnooEncox

    que componentes tiene la viagra http://llviagra.com/ viagra nose bleed

    May 14, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. GtnbCrulk

    how long is viagra effective https://jokviagra.com/ poppers and viagra

    May 14, 2021 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. JebgEncox

    best drugstore foundation for dry skin family pharmacy Atorlip-20

    May 14, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. BbshMile

    viagra canadian pharmacy https://loxviagra.com/ – how to buy viagra online how long does it take for viagra to take effect

    May 15, 2021 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. LebnEncox

    erectile dysfunction causes https://xlnpharmacy.com/ canadian online pharmacy reviews

    May 15, 2021 at 03:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RebfZisse

    discount cialis http://rcialisgl.com/ canadian pharmacy online cialis

    May 15, 2021 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. LbsoZisse

    cialis http://ucialisdas.com/ – buying cialis in australia cialis no prescriotion

    May 15, 2021 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RebfZisse

    cialis with dapoxetine overnite https://rcialisgl.com/ cialisis

    May 15, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JebgEncox

    Lyrica http://pharmacylo.com/ Aspirin

    May 15, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. FmrfEncox

    cialisprofessional http://cialisee.com/ generic cialis 10mg

    May 16, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. stornobrzinol

    It is truly a great and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.


    May 16, 2021 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. dapoxetine

    priligy 30 mg dapoxetine brand name

    May 16, 2021 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. LbsoZisse

    cialis wears off http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis online fast

    May 17, 2021 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. GtnbCrulk

    viagra single packs commercial http://jokviagra.com/ herb viagra side effects

    May 17, 2021 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. FmrfEncox

    cialis 100 mg usa http://cialisee.com/ brand name cialis online

    May 17, 2021 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. LebnEncox

    Tetracycline https://xlnpharmacy.com/ Meclizine

    May 19, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. AnooEncox

    generic viagra suppliers usa http://llviagra.com/ headaches caused by viagra

    May 20, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. JebgEncox

    super saver pharmacy https://pharmacylo.com/ cheap prescription drugs online

    May 20, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. LebnEncox

    pharmacy rx world canada online pharmacy australia pharmacy near me

    May 20, 2021 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. BbshMile

    viagra for men online https://loxviagra.com/ viagra for sale online

    May 21, 2021 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. JebgEncox

    prescription without a doctor's prescription https://pharmacylo.com/ Strattera

    May 21, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RebfZisse

    cheapest generic cialis http://rcialisgl.com/ price generic cialis

    May 21, 2021 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. LbsoZisse

    cialis online canadian http://ucialisdas.com/ is ordering cialis online legal

    May 21, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RebfZisse

    cialis cheep http://rcialisgl.com/ liquid cialis buy

    May 21, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. FmrfEncox

    cialis with effexor https://cialisee.com/ shop for cialis

    May 21, 2021 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. GtnbCrulk

    viagra funny https://jokviagra.com/ – viagra without ed viagra lowers blood pressure

    May 23, 2021 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. LbsoZisse

    order cialis india https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis with out a prescription

    May 23, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. BbshMile

    viagra online usa https://loxviagra.com/ – viagra women does viagra make you last longer in bed

    May 23, 2021 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. AnooEncox

    se necesita receta medica para comprar viagra http://llviagra.com/ – viagra neden yapiliyor i want to buy some viagra

    May 23, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. AnooEncox

    wie viel viagra sollte man nehmen http://llviagra.com/ viagra coupons for walgreens

    May 24, 2021 at 05:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. LebnEncox

    Risperdal drugs from canada canadian pharmacy no prescription

    May 24, 2021 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. EncoxHtf

    cialis generic reviews https://cialishav.com/ – cialis once a day cialis daily

    May 26, 2021 at 02:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. ZisseVed

    tadalafil 20mg https://krocialis.com/ – what would cialis do to a woman where can i buy cialis online in australia

    May 26, 2021 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. MileSwa

    cialis https://ckacialis.com/ – cialis prices in ontario cialis com

    May 27, 2021 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. EncoxDev

    canadian pharmacy price checker canadian pharmacy reviews consumer reports legit online pharmacy

    May 27, 2021 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. EncoxAni

    costco pharmacy canada [url=https://pharmacyken.com/ ]Kamagra Effervescent[/url] austria pharmacy online

    May 27, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. EncoxAni

    coupon code canada drugs https://pharmacyken.com/ – canada online pharmacy legitimate which canadian online pharmacy is the best

    May 28, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. EncoxGtv

    pharmacy technician job in canada animal pharmacy online long term effects of prescription drugs

    May 28, 2021 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. CrulkAsd

    cialis black brand https://cialisjla.com/ – order generic cialis cialis black uk

    May 29, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. MileSwa

    cialis lilly price https://ckacialis.com/ – generis cialis online overnight delivery generic cialis canada

    May 29, 2021 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. EncoxGtv

    cvs pharmacy online account canada pharmacies canadian pharmacy reddit

    May 29, 2021 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. EncoxHtf

    buy generic cialis generic cialis https://cialishav.com/ – cialis and nitroglycerin cialis 2.5 mg online

    May 29, 2021 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. ZisseVed

    super cialis https://krocialis.com/ – if cialis doesnt work order cialis online us

    May 30, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. ZisseVed

    cialis webmd cialis overdose symptoms generic cialis 200 mg

    May 31, 2021 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. EncoxHtf

    cialis for daily use price no prescription cialis cialis no prescriptuin

    May 31, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. MileSwa

    cheap. generic cialisis cialis online pharmacy australia buy cialis online australia pay with paypal

    June 2, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.