This incredible mom saved her husband’s life just before giving birth.
Goette Family/GoFundMe

28-year-old Ashley Goette was just days away from the birth of her first child.

She was at that stage of her pregnancy where everything can seem like a headache. So, when she heard what she thought was her husband Andrew snoring in the early morning hours, it all made sense.

Instead, she realized Andrew wasn’t snoring but was actually gasping for breath and wouldn’t wake up. In a panic, Goette called 911 and told them what was happening. Time was of the essence and to help give her husband a fighting chance at surviving, the operator talked Goette through performing CPR on her husband while she waited for an ambulance to arrive.


"When (the paramedics) were standing in the house and doing CPR, I was thinking, 'I cannot have this baby and not have Andrew be here,''' Goette said in an interview.

After Andrew was taken to a hospital, it was discovered he has Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a condition which results in an extra electrical pathway in the heart and rapid heart rate.

Only around 20,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with the condition each year and it’s rarely fatal. But in this case it nearly was.

Doctors were forced to place Goette’s husband in a medically-induced coma while she and her family prepared for the worst on the eve of what was supposed to be the happiest day in their lives.

Thankfully, doctors were able to successfully revive Andrew, who awoke in the hospital confused and scared. But after being brought up to speed, he realized he was also back in the mix in time for one more miracle.

It's nothing short of a miracle,'' he said. "I went from the brink of death to being able to watch the birth of my son. It will be one heck of a story to tell him when he's older."

Goette Family photo.

Doctors praised Goette for her quick thinking that literally helped save her husband’s life until medical professionals arrived.

"Within a four-day span, she saved a life and she brought a new life into the world. That's amazing," said Dr. Alex Teeters, who treated Andrew Goette in the hospital.

However, the couple is facing a steep financial climb with Andrew’s medical bills and the birth of their baby Lenny all happening in the same week. They’ve set up a GoFundMe campaign for anyone that wants to help cover their steep medical costs, which has already raised more than $10,000 toward their $25,000 goal.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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