Lupita Garcia-Zarate - Don’t Die of Doubt
Lupita Garcia-Zarate was 28 years old and in her third trimester of pregnancy when she experienced a cardiac emergency and heart failure. Today – two years later – she works in finance and enjoys baking, traveling, spinning, evening walks with her daughter and pet dog while enjoying the beautiful Arizona sunsets. She is grateful every single day for having the opportunity to raise her daughter and see her grow into a beautiful and strong woman.
I was 33 weeks pregnant with my first child and nearly died because of doubt. I had been experiencing shortness of breath, swelling, trouble sleeping, lightheadedness, and dizziness (which are all third-trimester symptoms), so I brushed it off.
When I started feeling chest palpitations, I could not ignore my symptoms anymore. I called by OBGYN and was told to go to the hospital for a checkup, just to be cautious. Once at the hospital, it soon became clear the symptoms that brought me in were not simply related to pregnancy. My heart rate was dangerously high in the 240s.
Doctors had to perform an emergency c-section in a race to save both our lives. My daughter was born needing immediate resuscitation and spent 19 days recovering in the hospital NICU. During delivery, I entered cardiac arrest, the hospital staff worked valiantly to save my life. I was transported to the ICU where I survived two additional cardiac arrests. My condition worsened to the point of needing a heart transplant.
I was transferred to two additional hospitals to receive cardiac care. I was placed on lifesaving technology called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (Aka ECMO Aka heart lung) machine for 13 days while awaiting a heart transplant. Fortunately, the heart recovered very well on ECMO that a heart transplant was no longer needed.
My daughter and I were discharged from our respective hospitals on the same day and officially met for the first time at our family home. We have both recovered remarkably and are excited to have a lifetime together.
Be willing to listen to your body and do not talk yourself into denial.