I was 22 years old when I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during an intramural basketball game. I collapsed mid-court and I am blessed, lucky, fortunate (whatever you want to call it) that CPR and an AED were used and got my heart started again. I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and had an ICD placed under my left clavicle. I was young, fit, ate well, and worked out daily – I was confused and frustrated to learn that I had a heart condition.
While my family and friends were tremendous supporters, I wanted somebody I could relate to, who would understand my frustration, who would provide support and camaraderie. I also wanted to give back, raise awareness and be there for others going through similar health scares.
Connected by Hearts provides education, resources and opportunities to engage with peers going through similar heart “stuff.”
It is nice to be able to ask open and honest questions to those who have gone through or are going through similar situations. Are you scared when you workout? Where should I have my ICD placed? Are your parents breathing down your neck all the time to make sure you’re safe? These questions are just a few of the ones I have had over the years.
I hope that Connected By Hearts will allow new kids to learn, connect, support, and laugh together as they live beyond their heart condition.