“I have a whole new appreciation of the medical system that saved my wife.”

March 31, 2024

sleep blood pressure Steffani Natter doesn’t remember much of September 15, but she knows it was the day that “framily,” first responders and medical professionals came together to save her life.

“Framily” is how Steff and her husband Dylan talk about their friends and family because, to them, they are one and the same. Steff, 38, was on the phone with her close friend Jill, an ER nurse, when suddenly Steff became non-responsive. Jill knew right away something was wrong and called Dylan.

Luckily, Dylan was working from home and rushed to Steff, who had suffered cardiac arrest. He called 911 and dispatch instructed him on how to perform CPR.

Paramedics arrived and rushed Steff to Temecula Valley Hospital. “I am so grateful that the hospital was so close to us and that she was able to get immediate attention,” Dylan says.

Even with the shock of the emergency, Dylan noted how quickly the ER team worked. They successfully stabilized Steff after her heart stopped a second time, and later placed her in an induced coma before transferring her to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). “I was in awe by what seemed to me like organized chaos. They enacted the Chain of Survival so efficiently. It was as perfect as it could have been. Everything and everyone came together and took her through that journey back to life.”

In the ICU, Dylan met “a small army of nurses and doctors” simultaneously caring for Steff, who remained critically ill. Her heart stopped once in the ICU, and she spent five days on full life support. But things improved, and she moved from the ICU on the eighth day of her treatment. She walked out of the hospital two days later, after doctors had implanted a defibrillator that could deliver an electric shock if her heart stopped again.

Steff can’t remember much of her stay at Temecula Valley Hospital, but she does remember how cared for she felt. Throughout her recovery in the ICU, “There was a constant flow of nurses who came in to help me,” she says. “Though I didn’t remember all the nurses that treated me, they all knew me. There was investment from the entire staff.”

Dylan and Steff are grateful for their “framily” and greater community. Friends sent food and cared for their kids at home. Dylan’s team at work picked up his duties while he cared for Steff. The crisis and the time after have impacted them deeply. “Life is a gift and I'm truly grateful,” says Steff.