Jessica Pegula says her sister saved her mom’s life during 2022 cardiac arrest
Not much was known about her condition at the time, but Pegula detailed in her recent article what happened and how her mother has since been recovering.
“My mom was asleep when my dad woke her up going into cardiac arrest and she was unresponsive for quite some time,” Pegula said.
“My sister gave her CPR until the ambulance arrived. She saved her life. Although she doesn’t like to take credit for this terrible situation, she absolutely saved her life, thanks to the paramedics who arrived and the critical job they did. After. able to restore the heartbeat.”
Pegula’s mother has co-owned the Bills since 2014, when she bought the franchise with her husband, Terry, for more than $1 billion.
The couple also owns the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, making Kim the first woman to be president of both an NFL and NHL team.
Pegula says her mom loved her work and that she was the engine room of the sports empire, but she worries “she won’t be that person anymore.”
“She can read, write and understand well, but she has trouble finding the words to respond. It’s hard to deal with and it takes a lot of patience to communicate with her, but I thank God every day. Yes, we still talk to him at all.
“Doctors are blown away by her recovery, considering where she started, and her determination is the driving force behind it.”
She says the family practically lived in the hospital during the first two weeks of the recovery process, with her father reluctant to go home without his wife.
Pegula says the pressures of taking care of a family and running a successful business empire took their toll on everyone.
“When they say a day in the hospital equals a week to recover, it’s no joke. We were all mentally and physically exhausted,” he added.
Focusing on her mother’s recovery, Pegula questioned whether she would be able to continue playing tennis at a high level.
But, inspired by her mother’s attitude towards life, she decided to play at Wimbledon a few weeks after her mum suffered a heart attack, making it to the third round.
She then reached the quarterfinals of the US Open before ending the year as the women’s singles world No. 3.
“I guess one thing I learned from last year is that it can be a good year, and a bad year, both can be true,” he said.
With her mother recovering at home, Pegula shifted her focus to tennis and flew out to compete in the Australian Open earlier in the year.
Pegula, who was minutes away from playing in a mixed doubles event in Sydney, says her “stomach dropped” when she heard.
“I don’t usually worry too much, but it just broke my heart to think what Damar and his family were going to go through,” she said, adding that she was close to having a panic attack.
“I knew how important time was. I just kept thinking time, time, time, time. I hope they get him back and soon enough.
“The medical staff and trainers who assisted that night really saved his life and were great in his recovery. I went on to mixed doubles and we won.”
Hamlin, 24, survived and, like Kim, faces a long recovery process.
Pegula says her remarkable recovery inspired her performance at the Australian Open where she reached the quarterfinals.
She wore Hamlin’s No. 3 on her shorts during the tournament but says it was also in honor of her mother.
“It’s been a tough year, but at the same time, I feel lucky and blessed,” she said.
“I’m grateful that he’s still with us when other families might not have been so lucky. That he even had a chance to recover when the first week in the hospital seemed so dull.
“Thank you to the doctors who helped her recover. Thankful that she is home now, that she gets to watch Bill, Saber and my tennis matches.
“She never watched my matches before because she was too nervous. Now, she watches everything.”