“I couldn't have asked to have a nicer group of nurses. The therapists are so good there. They really make you work hard, but they have a purpose for it. They know what I needed in order to go back home safely.”
On May 9, 2023, Mardale went in for double bypass heart surgery in Oklahoma City when she suddenly became unresponsive on the operating table.
“I heard the words, 'Code Blue.' They said I died,” said Mardale.
She recalls being high above herself on the table and watching the medical team trying to revive her. “I saw my body raise up slightly off the bed and I looked around to see if my mother was there to take me home. They gave me one more chest compression and I returned to my body. It wasn't my time to die."
Mardale would spend the next three weeks in the ICU, totally bed ridden, growing weaker and suffering from hallucinations. On May 25, 2023, Mardale was brought from Oklahoma City to Southwestern Medical Center's Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. She worked diligently with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy for three hours each day for the next 10 days until she had met the rehab goals.
Upon discharge, Mardale was able get herself in and out of bed, dress herself, take a shower, and walk over 300 feet to the gym using her walker. She even overcame her fear of going up and down the stairs.