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She spent 10 weeks at UC Medical Center after a sudden cardiac arrest. Now, she's finally going home.

Ebonie Sherwood's heart stopped at track practice in March starting a long road to recovery
Ebonie Sherwood
Posted at 9:23 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-18 11:10:55-04

CINCINNATI — Dozens of nurses, doctors, family and friends lined the halls of UC Medical Center Wednesday, clapping and cheering as 18-year-old Ebonie Sherwood left the hospital for home.

Sherwood had spent the last 10 weeks recovering from a heart transplant following sudden cardiac arrest during track practice March 7 at Stebbins High School in Dayton.

"I'm good," she said minutes before leaving. "I've been ready to get out of here, but I'm healthy and I'm good."

Sherwood said seeing so many people there to cheer her on was heartwarming.

"I never expected much support. It feels good to see them," she said.

Dr. Louis Louis, UCMC Chief of Cardiac Surgery, said Sherwood's survival had been nothing short of miraculous starting with the trainers at Stebbins who used CPR and an AED machine to revive her.

"CPR literally saved her life," said UCMC cardiologist Umama Gorsi.

After a brief stay at Dayton Children's Hospital, Sherwood was flown to UCMC where multiple potentially deadly clots and a massive heart attack led doctors to place her on life support.

The hope was to give her heart time to recover with an ECMO machine that bypasses the heart and allows blood to flow to vital organs without the heart pumping.

"We think that her heart has recovered enough to where we take her off life support, and I'm there while she dies a third time," Louis said.

Louis then did something nearly unheard of.

"There is no such thing as an emergency heart transplant until we did one," he said.

During the next 10 weeks of recovery, including the setback of a stroke, Sherwood missed a lot — including her senior prom. Her nurses threw her a prom in the hospital's intensive care unit to make up for it.

Sherwood's mom, Beverly, said the support has been incredible.

"It's a miracle," she said. "Ebonie inspires me with how hard she's pushed herself to get better."

Sherwood said she is now looking forward to going to college, but, before that, she was only focused on a couple of priorities.

"Graduation and petting my dog," said Sherwood.

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