to me because...
I want people to understand that heart disease does not discriminate. Educate yourself and listen to your body. If I can help just one person to feel confident enough to ask their doctor about their heart health, I have done my job."
In July 2020, at the age of 28 and in the midst of a global pandemic, without warning, I collapsed on the street while getting out of my vehicle in northern Manitoba. The ambulance was called and I was taken to the local emergency where a life flight flew me to Winnipeg ICU.
En route and at the hospital, I ended up having nine cardiac arrests and went through a number of medical interventions and defibrillations. I knew I had a severe vitamin deficiency and my body had a harder time than most absorbing vitamins, but I had no prior symptoms or no prior diagnosed heart condition.
I do not have any memory from that day or weeks leading up to the event, however; my friends and family said I did not show any signs that were alarming to them.
A healthy ejection fraction is between 50-65%, and mine was 12% which meant I was still at huge risk of having more sudden cardiac arrests. I spent a week in an induced coma in the ICU, and it was unclear if I would be able to fight through. Thankfully, with a dedicated healthcare team, I made it. The following months were spent in and out of hospital, and I underwent surgery to have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) inserted.
I was told my life would never be the same. I was told I most likely wouldn’t be able to have children. I was alive, but never felt so lifeless.
Fast forward three years, after a lot (I mean a lot) of follow ups for heart failure, many medication trials and errors, one ICD surgery, a positive support team, and a lot of HOPE, I have overcome the odds. My ejection fraction is now at 55%. I am happy, I am healthy, and I am a MOM to my one-year-old son, James.
Do I live differently? Yes.
Do I miss out on some things due to my heart condition? Also yes.
Do I wish this never happened to me? Sometimes.
Did I learn a lot over the last 3 years? 100% yes.
Do I view life differently now? HECK YES.
I live life in the moment now, I enjoy the little things, and most importantly I am present with my family.
“It’s not about the setback, it’s about the comeback.”