PATIENT STORIES

Lance’s Story

Lance was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy at age 47. After losing consciousness in the waiting room of his doctor’s office, he was rushed to the hospital. When his doctors discovered his ejection fraction was less than 10%, they knew they had to act fast.

Johnny’s story

Johnny was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy after suffering a “widow-maker” heart attack. A subsequent angiogram showed that his ejection fraction was only 14%. Doctors tried multiple interventions to treat his heart failure, including stents and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), but a few weeks later, he went into cardiac arrest. Read Johnny's story.

Jaheim’s Story

Jaheim was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, in which the heart has just one working chamber. He received his first heart transplant in 2012. However, a few years later during a routine check-up, tests revealed that his donor heart was failing because of rejection. Read Jaheim's story.

Tom’s Story

Tom was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy caused by a rare disease called cardiac sarcoidosis. One day, Tom received 11 shocks in five minutes from his defibrillator. He was experiencing what is known as a “v-tach storm.” He woke up two days later in the ICU, where doctors told him he wouldn’t survive more than another day unless they took action. Read Tom's story.

Danielle’s Story

Danielle was born with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects connective tissue. At 22 years old, doctors discovered a massive infection of her heart had led to endocarditis. Surgeons hoped to repair the damage, but as Danielle lay sedated waiting for surgery, her heart suddenly stopped beating. Read Danielle's story.

Stan’s Story

Stan was born with a life-threatening hereditary heart condition called arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD). Surgeons implanted a defibrillator to help regulate Stan’s heart rhythm, but over time, his condition deteriorated and his body began retaining fluid at an alarming rate. Read Stan's story.

Bob’s Story

Bob was in and out of hospitals for over two decades trying to manage his cardiomyopathy, eventually developing atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Over the years, he was implanted with five types of pacemakers and defibrillators, but eventually, his heart began to fail rapidly and he was admitted to the hospital. Read Bob’s story.

Randy’s Story

As a teenager, Randy twice contracted rheumatic fever, which damaged his heart. However, he continued to enjoy sports and recreation throughout his life. But eventually his failing heart could no longer support him. Read Randy’s story.

Steve’s Story

Steve was diagnosed with left ventricular hypertrophy (enlargement of the left ventricle wall) and cardiomyopathy. He went to the hospital several times because of difficulty breathing. During one of those hospital stays, he went into cardiac arrest and fell into a coma. Read Steve’s story.

Danny’s Story

When Danny began experiencing fatigue and nausea at age 33, he knew something was wrong. It took several years and multiple doctor visits before he was finally diagnosed with advanced heart failure. Danny received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), but six weeks later, a blood clot formed in the pump and he was rushed back to the hospital. Read Danny’s story.

Jordan’s Story

Jordan was born with several heart defects, including congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (CCTGA), pulmonary atresia and a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Growing up, he underwent several surgeries and surgical revisions, but by age 17, had developed end-stage biventricular heart failure and kidney insufficiency. Read Jordan’s story.

Chris’s Story

Chris was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and an irregular heartbeat in 1999, but he continued to live a rugged lifestyle that included hiking and working in northern Alaska’s frigid oil fields. Though his doctors insisted on a heart transplant evaluation, Chris thought he was in good shape — until he blacked out one day while walking laps around the ICU. Read Chris’s story.