Wife, New Mom, New Heart Patient by Jenylyn Carpio
In the summer of 1990, I was 7-years-old. It was one summer day, I was playing in the backyard. The next thing I knew; I was struggling to regain consciousness from under the picnic table. I felt tired and weak. My parents took me to the emergency room immediately.
I had an episode of Syncope. Because I was outside on a hot day, the doctor said it was possible I fainted because of playing in the warm weather. He prescribed rest for a few days and to stay hydrated.
From that point on, I continued to have fainting episodes. Each time I fainted, I was taken to the emergency room. They ran a round of tests, an EKG, and sent us home. Because of my age at the time, they felt my fainting was due to anything other than a possible heart condition.
That changed on the afternoon of July 11, 2005. I was 22-years-old.
While spending the afternoon at my mom’s house with my daughter, I collapsed. My mom saw my eyes roll back and I bit down on my tongue as I was struggling to breathe, so she performed CPR until help arrived to take me to UC San Diego Health Center.
The hospital ran multiple tests. They saw irregularities in my EKG. My heart rate was abnormal.
After obtaining and scouring my medical records from childhood until then, we finally received a diagnosis: Long QT Syndrome and Complete Heart Block. The next morning, I got an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, or ICD for short.
Shocked and frightened, compiled with the emotions of becoming a new mom just weeks prior, I struggled with the title of heart patient with an ICD that I would have for the rest of my life. I was particularly shocked to learn how prevalent heart disease was in my maternal grandfather’s side of the family – something my mother discovered after my diagnosis.
It’s been 12 years since I received my first ICD. My disclosure of my heart condition and ICD helped in executing treatment for my most recent health situation back in February of 2017-surgery to remove a benign tumor in my sympathetic nerve.
The data from my childhood medical records aided the doctors in coming to my diagnoses and treatment, which is why I chose to join My Research Legacy. My hope is that others will join My Research Legacy too, so scientists and researchers can continue to develop more treatments and eventually find a cure for heart disease and stroke.
If you want to join Jenylyn in leaving a lasting legacy, register at https://myresearchlegacy.org/