It was January 19, 2021, and Layne Bruner, the founder of Wellthy Soul, was teaching the last of a long string of fitness classes at a local gym when she realized something was wrong, very wrong.
“Everything was normal until it wasn’t,” she said. “My heart was past its max.”
Layne, who lives in Austin, Texas, was not only cognizant of her own baseline heart rate and health but made fitness her life’s work – so naturally assumed she wouldn’t have to worry. Well, that afternoon in 2021, she excused herself from the class and began breathing exercises assuming that her increased heart rate was related to occasional anxiety. The pain, however, did not go away.
“I thought it was simply a panic attack, I know what one feels like,” she said.
Layne called her husband, Manuel Bruner, a trained firefighter/EMT, who instructed her to put her legs up on a wall while laying flat on the floor and guided her through her breathing.
While trying to slow her heart rate with breathing exercises in the hallway outside of the yoga studio, Layne asked a gym member, “please get somebody.” Within minutes an ambulance had arrived and was monitoring the rhythm of her heart which was in ventricular tachycardia [VTACH for short], meaning there was no consistency to its rhythm.
In many cases ventricular tachycardia may last for only a few seconds, causing a heart to stop (sudden cardiac arrest), which is a life-threatening medical emergency. Procedure mortality is approximately 3%, with most deaths due to failure of the procedure to control frequent, life-threatening VT.
The leads monitoring her heart rate maxed out at 286 beats per minute, which should have ruled her unconscious – but she was awake!
In fact, Layne never lost consciousness.
To save her life, EMTs on the scene had no choice but to administer an automated external defibrillator (AED) in an attempt to shock her heart back into rhythm. The caveat, Layne was fully cognizant of every life-changing moment.
Sustaining an extraordinary heart rate for 25 minutes and being one of an estimated less than 1% of people in the world to remain conscious during a shock from a defibrillator, Layne’s survival is nothing short of a miracle.
Diagnosed with Atrial Septal Defect and Ventricular Septal Defect, Layne has undergone three open-heart surgeries throughout her life, and statically following a cardiac arrest of such magnitude, should not have even lived to tell her story.
Today, Layne has made it her mission to combine fitness, nutrition, but most importantly, soulful wellness practices to help her clients heal from what she coins “lifestyle diseases” so they can live longer with more mobility and vitality. Her approach: functional medicine combined with soul work, safe fitness, and whole food nutrition.
Her program, Lose 20 Pounds in 8 Weeks has garnered national attention and has come to be known as a game-changer for losing weight fast however isn’t simply a quick fix.
For more information on Layne Bruner and her healthy living programs, please visit wellthysoul.com.