My grandma died from heart surgery complications when I was a teenager, and my dad died from a massive heart attack at age 46. I had my heart attack at the same age. I had cardiomyopathy, like my dad.
I changed my diet, started to exercise and lost over 100 pounds. Shortly after my heart attack, a pacemaker/defibrillator was inserted to keep my heart rate in control. That lasted about six years.
I was working out one day, and I started having shortness of breath that kept getting progressively worse as time went on. My cardiologist kept treating me with more medications, thinking I had the flu. During this time my mother got sick, and I found her dead at home from a sudden cardiac death. I got really scared.
My family and I made an appointment at the University of Chicago and was admitted immediately.
After 63 days, it was determined that I was in congestive heart failure for the past year. My mitral valve was leaking badly, and the left side of my heart just quit working. I needed surgery and still need a heart transplant.
I work out daily, walking 3 to 5 miles a day to keep my strength up for transplant. It will happen!
Rose Clemans, Valparaiso