Dec 12, 2018 Latest post:
Jan 17, 2023
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
I am officially on the list for a heart transplant. My heart journey began in October 2008 when they found a blood clot in my heart. This is also when they discovered that I had a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Liden which makes me more susceptible for getting clots. This incident did cause some slight damage to my heart and that point I was told I had beginning stages of heart failure. My doctors told me not to worry as heart failure is a very broad term and I could still maintain an active lifestyle. In May 2009, I had my first incident of VT (Ventricular Tachycardia) - this is a very dangerous arrhythmia. They shocked me to get my heart back in rhythm and a couple days later implanted an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator). This device was there to protect me if this heart rhythm was to happen again. This incident again put a little wear on my heart but I was still feeling good. I went for many years on medicines that controlled my heart rhythms effectively. On May 5, 2018, I had a cardiac arrest. My family was told that I wasn't going to make it. That is until the most amazing group of doctors and surgeons at the University of Minnesota Hospital got me hooked up on the ECMO machine which saved my life. It was honestly a miracle!! I was out of the hospital in 12 days. I was very tired but overall feeling good. As you can imagine, my heart took a big hit with this one. I started Cardiac Rehab and successfully completed that in September 2018. On the evening of October 6, 2018 - I had an episode of VT and landed me in a hospital bed for 4 nights. Following that, I had 3 more hospital stays - one that included an ablation that was not successful and one that we thought was but I ended up back in the hospital a few days later. By this time, I really wasn't feeling good overall and had days that I could barely walk from room to room. In November, I went it for a Right Heart Catheterization and the results were not good and they wouldn't let me leave the hospital. My heart was pumping at less than 50% of what it should be. They got me on an IV with some medicine that helped open up the vessels so I would start feeling a bit better. It was on this hospital visit that my team of doctors/surgeons atthe U of M decided that my heart failure was at the point that we needed to look at transplant. They completed the entire workup and evaluation while I was there. And, that brings us to now while I wait for the call that a heart become available. It could be 2 weeks, 5 months or a year. There is so much that goes into matching a donor with a recipient so they never know exactly where you are in line. When a heart becomes available for me - I will need to be at the U of M Hospital within a couple hours for surgery, so no traveling for me for awhile. I can't tell you how blessed I am with the most amazing Transplant Team. Please know that if I have any updates - we will always put them on this site. I will continue to work until the transplant as I am blessed to be able to do that from home. I need to stay as healthy as possible until the surgery so I likely won't be out and about much unless it is for a doctor appointment, church or something to support Natalie. Please feel free to come and visit (unless your sick :)) and know that I am okay talking about "normal" people stuff and not just my health. Please pray for my medical team, the family of the donor whose heart I will receive, my family and of course, ME!!