Amanda’s Broken Heart

 

My cardiac journey started when I was just sixteen. I was preparing for a minor surgery and was  diagnosed with a small heart murmur that needed to be repaired. Both my surgery and the repair were successful, but I was left with heart rhythm issues that needed to be closely monitored by a cardiologist and with medication.

In April of 2018 at the age of 21, I started noticing some rather troubling and debilitating symptoms. I could not walk more than five feet without needing to stop to catch my breath, I was not eating, I was sleeping for sixteen hours a day. I was sent to my local emergency department in Grand Falls to only be diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart. It was not long after that diagnosis that I was sent to the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s for further investigation and treatment.

That summer I was told I was in end-staged heart failure. Those words put me in a complete state of shock. How on earth could a twenty-one-year old have a failing heart? Working with both the genetics team and the cardiology team at the Health Sciences Centre, it was determined I have an extremely rare type of muscular dystrophy which is known to attack the heart. A few weeks later, I needed a cardiac device to help my heart pump.

Cardiac disease can come on suddenly and have a devastating impact on your life as I quickly found out. In the winter of 2018, I was worsening day by day. I withdrew from university to move back with my parents as I found it incredibly difficult to be on my own. On Remembrance Day, I was admitted to the cardiology floor as I was too unstable to be on my own and needed medical attention. Sixteen days later, I was sent to the Ottawa Heart Institute for a heart transplant. In January 2019, I received my heart transplant and was given a second chance to live.

If it was not for the compassion, professionalism, and expert care of the cardiology department of the Health Sciences Centre, I would not be here today. They were there to support me during my sickest and most vulnerable time, they diagnosed, treated and saved my life. There are no words to accurately describe how grateful I am. I still receive care from them to this day, and it is always a joy to see everyone. They hold a special place in both of my hearts.

1 in every 3 Newfoundlanders will be affected by cardiac disease. It does not discriminate and doesn’t care if you are male or female, young or old. You do not know when or if it will happen to you or someone you love – but when it does, you want to make sure our doctors and health care professionals have the latest tools, training and technology they need to save your life.

I am only one of so many people who’s lives have been forever changed because our cardiology team had the tools they needed thanks to your donations to the Health Care Foundation. I am asking you to donate what you can today to our Health Care Foundation. It will also warm your heart to know that 100% of your gift will directly impact our local cardiac program in this province.

Please give today because you never know when it could be your turn to be that 1 in 3.

A Very HEARTFELT Thank You,

Amanda

 


 

 

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