By Susan Koeppen


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Have you ever thought, am I hearing things? Where is that beeping noise coming from?

Well that’s exactly what happened to KDKA anchor Susan Koeppen this week.

Photo Credit: Susan Koeppen

Remember that story KDKA did a couple years ago about a loud beeping coming from inside a Ross Township home every day for 13 years? It turns out, it was an alarm clock stuck in the family’s wall.

Well this is sort of like that, but just not for that long of time.

Susan has a defibrillator, and she always knew the battery would run out at some point. She just didn’t know it would beep.

She regularly goes to the doctor and has her device monitored.

In fact, her monitor caught the problem, at the same time she started noticing the beeping.

Her doctor called her Friday night to say the device’s battery was low and she would need to have it replaced with a new one.

Here’s Susan’s story, in her own words:

For two days, I struggled to figure out the source of a strange beeping noise. It started on a Thursday. Standing in the makeup room at work, I heard it. Beep, beep, beep. Of course, I looked at my phone but it didn’t seem to be coming from there.
Then, I looked at my watch. Nope.

Hmmm, maybe it was coming from some of the television equipment at KDKA. We have lots of TV screens and wires and monitors and cameras so it seemed to make sense that the sound was coming from the television station. But then Friday rolled around and I heard the beeping noise again. This time it was in my bedroom as I was getting ready to leave for work. I checked the phone ( again!) and I looked at my watch (again!). Was it my Echo in the corner? No. Not the Echo. Hmmmm, stumped again.

The beeping was low and steady but short-lived. Sixteen beeps and then it was gone. It didn’t give me a lot of time to track the source and investigate the beeps which seemed to come every 6 hours.

Now here comes the weird part. Are you ready for this? On Friday night, I was sitting at my desk at work and BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. WHAT IS THIS BEEPING NOISE? In an effort to listen REALLY closely to my cell phone, I dipped my head forward and put my ear right up to the phone which was charging on my desk. And that’s when I realized the source of the beeping. It was coming from inside my BODY!!! I was BEEPING!

Eight years ago, I suffered sudden cardiac arrest while I was out running. In the days after my near death experience, doctors implanted a defibrillator in my chest to shock my heart back-to-life in case it every tried to stop working again. Well, defibrillators run on batteries and they only last about 8-10 years. So there I was, sitting at my desk on a Friday night, half laughing, half freaking out that my defibrillator was letting me know that its time was up. My doctor called me that night to say his office got an alert from my device monitor that the battery life was ending. The technology is fascinating.

 

So now what? Well, I had to go to the doctor to get the beeping checked out and I need to replace the device. In the next couple of weeks, I will need to plan my course of action for “Paramedic Pete” ( the nickname I gave my defibrillator when I got it). Glad Pete told me it was time for a new one. Glad I have this life saving device which lets me live without fear. ❤️

Now is a good time to pass along some very pertinent information. The first week of June is CPR awareness week. Susan wouldn’t be alive without the life-saving CPR she received and a shock from an AED.

Click here for more information about CPR awareness week.