Heather Wartenberg Heather's Heart Journey

First post: Jan 3, 2022 Latest post: Jan 8, 2023
Welcome to the CaringBridge website for Heather's Heart Journey. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.  Here is Heather's heart story.

I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at the age of 21.  I had open heart surgery at that time to remove part of the septum where I had obstruction.  The following year I had my first pacemaker/defibrillator placed because I was having arrhythmias.  The following year, I was still very sick so I traveled to Houston, Texas and had a septal ablation.

I had good and bad times over the years, but for the most part, I functioned very well.  I was hospitalized for cardiac-related illness numerous times.  I also had my pacemaker/defibrillator changed out several times through the years.

In 2013 I became very ill and discovered I was in heart failure. I was evaluated for heart transplant at that time.  My cardiac team decided to try an upgrade of device to a bi-ventricular pacemaker which is used in heart failure patients.  The device helped dramatically and I was mostly stable for a few years.

In 2019 I experienced a shock from my device that was not caused by an arrhythmia, but rather a fractured lead. I went through an extensive and complicated lead extraction at that time.

I was hospitalized several times in 2020 and began to experience more and more cardiac complications.  I had several procedures to try to feel better, including A-fib ablation, PVC ablation, Cardiac catheterization, and a stent placed in the summer of 2021.

I continued to feel very poorly and was able to do less and less activity, so I kept going to the doctor.  A pulmonologist ordered an echo and discovered that my heart function had dropped dramatically.  I contacted the HCMA and was referred to Anshutz University of Colorado transplant team.

I had the evaluation in early December and have now been placed on the transplant waiting list.  I am certainly dealing with some anxiety, but most of all, I am incredibly grateful for the hope of a better life. Thank you for sharing in my heart journey.

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