Not going to let a little heart problem stop her!!

Shelley Gibson

First post: May 13, 2017 Latest post: Jun 11, 2017
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Shelley had her first SVT episode when she was in third grade. We had no idea what it was then. Her heart rate started going really fast and she was a little short of breath. Eventually it went away on its own. We told the pediatrician about it at our next visit. She had Shelley see a heart specialist, cardiologist, at DMC Childrens Hospital in Detroit. At her first appointment they did an EKG and put her on a 30 day heart monitor. The next month we went back and were told everything was fine. About two months later, Shelley had another episode. Back to the cardiologist we went, where she was put on another heart monitor for 30 days. Of course she didn't have an episode during that time. We were told that nothing was wrong again. A few months later, another episode. Back again to the cardiologist. They did a bunch of testing and still said everything was fine. They did refer her to a doctor called a cardiac electrophysiologist at DMC Childrens Hospital. When we saw this doctor, he put her back on a 30 day monitor and scheduled another appointment for six weeks away. When we saw the EP doc again, he said everything was fine. He didn't know what was going on but it wasn't her heart. We should seek other avenues to find out what is causing the fast heart rate. 
We followed up her pediatrician, who knew something more was going on and so did I. We just didn't have any definitive answers. I talked with one of my co-workers and friends, she said "Rhonda if you aren't comfortable with the answers, keep searching until you are. You know your child. Find someone who will listen". I'm so thankful for listening to her. I did some research and found Dr. Prabhu out of Childrens Hospital Beaumont, Royal Oak. From our very first visit with her, she had Shelley at ease. She told us she was going to find out what was going on. She told us about a device that attaches to the back of your smartphone, that you rest your fingers on. It connects via bluetooth to a app on your phone and acts as an EKG machine taking a 30 second reading. Dr. Prabhu had just had a vendor in her office the week before, to talk about this device. It meant no more heart monitors. When Shelley felt like something was going on, she would take a reading and upload the EKG to her doctor or I could print it and fax it right over.  Shelley cried tears of thankfulness. I felt we were finally getting some place. This app gave us both piece of mind, knowing we had information right at her fingertips...literally. 
Fastforward to April 29th Shelley & Danika had 12 of their closest friends over for a sleepover. The next morning Shelley came in the house and said "mom, its happening again". I looked at her and could see the fear in her face and the pulse in her neck throbbing. I had her lay down on my bed to try to relax a bit. I took a reading and her heart rate was 265bpm. We tried some of the vagel manuevers, blowing on her thumb, bearing down, ice & cold rag on head and neck. Nothing was working. She was turning blue, sweating, and couldn't breath. I knew I had to call 911 this time. I also called a friend to come sit with the girls, asked all the girls to call their parents, and called Craig to come back from church. EMS arrived-Erica, MJ, Dan, & 2 Justins - were Shelley's heros. At no point did any of these amazing first responders let on to me or Shelley that this was as serious as it was. They gave Shelley some medicine called adendozine, which basically stopped her heart for a brief second, allowing her natural heartbeat to pick back up again.  You know in the movies or tv series where the person on the table takes a huge gasp of breath after the doc give them some medicine...thats what it was like. Scary stuff!!!
The next day we saw Dr. Prabhu again and she said that Shelley needed a surgery called ablation. She referred us to Dr. Bradley at the University of Michigan who was an EP. 
Journal updates will follow Shelley's journey from her visit Dr. Prabhu on 5/1/17, all of the updates will be made by myself (Rhonda) or Shelley herself. 

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