Ambassador Twins Kim Ketter and Shawn Rivers.

Kim Ketter and Shaun Rivers

ER nurse Kim Ketter had been feeling exhausted and short of breath for months, but it wasn’t until one day when she suffered heart palpitations at work that she decided to see a doctor about her symptoms. Her diagnosis of cardiomyopathy and HF came as a surprise. When she learned her condition may be genetic, Kim knew that her twin sister and fellow nurse, Shaun Rivers, could also be at risk for HF, so she suggested Shaun see her doctor and get tested as well. The results from Shaun’s stress test indicated that she also had HF.   

 

As ambassadors, Kim and Shaun are sharing their story to provide hope and support for people affected by HF. 

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  • tiki2003
    tiki2003,
    My husband had a heart attack 13 months ago. He came out with a 45% pumping of his heart. He quit smoking, I'll admit he was not active and really never has been. Had normal weight, normal blood pressure, He had a stress test 3 weeks ago that came out great, has great BP but was diagnosed with Heart Failure. They have put him on aggressive meds which make him feel awful. He may loose his job and our insurance. We are in our early 50's and I am devastated, scared and not sure how to handle this. The doctor said he can work , he can exercise but will feel like death through this treatment. If this does not work they will send him somewhere else for a defibrillator and if that is not successful a heart transplant. I am mad, scared, not sure how to handle this, and horrible to say but right now even mad at him. Do you have suggestions I just feel lost. Thank you
  • NE4LIFE
    NE4LIFE,
    Hello tiki2003. I am so sorry that you and your husband are having to go through this. I understand how those meds can make you feel...sometimes worse than the HF itself! It sounds like you are concerned about being able to meet financial responsibilities while going through treatment. I wanted to suggest that you check out the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) @ http://www.patientadvocate.org/ . The PAF is a national non-profit organization that serves as an active liaison between the patient and their insurer, employer and/or creditors to resolve insurance, job retention and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis through case managers, doctors and attorneys. Patient Advocate Foundation seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability. The support network is also an awesome place to share, vent and get great information. I am happy to help if I can :). I pray your strength as you support your husband through this time. Take care of your self too. Blessings!
  • Pac4274
    Pac4274,
    I have CHF I found out on Dec 26,2016 I thought I was just over weight but I wasn't. I was told that if I didn't come to the E.R I would not have lived to see the next day . I feel truly blessed to be alive but there are so many things that I go through without answers. On May 25 I went to the E.R because of very low blood pressure 87/50 they sent me home with a diagnosis of dyhidration . Called the doctor and he just said okay I'll see you on June 6 have a good day. This is really making me think what kind of person is my doctor. I don't know what I should do, because I have a lot of life to live and I don't need someone to care for my heart that doesn't care for me as a patient
  • Pac4274
    Pac4274,
    I have CHF I found out on Dec 26,2016 I thought I was just over weight but I wasn't. I was told that if I didn't come to the E.R I would not have lived to see the next day . I feel truly blessed to be alive but there are so many things that I go through without answers. On May 25 I went to the E.R because of very low blood pressure 87/50 they sent me home with a diagnosis of dyhidration . Called the doctor and he just said okay I'll see you on June 6 have a good day. This is really making me think what kind of person is my doctor. I don't know what I should do, because I have a lot of life to live and I don't need someone to care for my heart that doesn't care for me as a patient
  • Pac4274
    Pac4274,
    I have CHF I found out on Dec 26,2016 I thought I was just over weight but I wasn't. I was told that if I didn't come to the E.R I would not have lived to see the next day . I feel truly blessed to be alive but there are so many things that I go through without answers. On May 25 I went to the E.R because of very low blood pressure 87/50 they sent me home with a diagnosis of dyhidration . Called the doctor and he just said okay I'll see you on June 6 have a good day. This is really making me think what kind of person is my doctor. I don't know what I should do, because I have a lot of life to live and I don't need someone to care for my heart that doesn't care for me as a patient
  • dremthomas8
    dremthomas8,
    Kim and Shaun, I fully understand and appreciate how we, as health professionals, frequently disregard, deny or delay our symptoms, despite the obvious. For example, beginning February 2015, I was exhausted following a series of colds, flu, etc. By late June the SOB began. In early-mid August, it was unrelenting, as was the exhaustion. Thereafter, I literally gained 30 pounds within a ten-day period. On 29 August 2015, I finally went to Northwestern where I was diagnosed with CHF. My EF was 11%. Ironically, I do not have any risk factors for HF, including an absence of family history of HF , as well as absence of blockages. After a 10-day hospitalization that included diuresis, cardioversion, etc my HF was 55%. The final diagnosis - idiopathic cardiomyopathy. The underlying reason STRESS. Simply put, stress kills! Life is extremely challenging as I do not have a support system - no family/friends locally - and my position evaporated. Despite hospitalizations in October 2016 - severe hypothyroidism - and January 2017 - cardiac ablation - in April 2017, my EF was 65%. These numbers compare with December 2015 - 65% and June 2016 - 70%. Since my initial discharge in September 2015 my weight has more or less remained constant - 128/129. I am compliant with the medications, diet, etc. Nevertheless, managing HF remains a daunting task ... and is particularly disquieting given that I have not secured employment.
  • Haiti
    Haiti,
    Please i live in Bresil, and i have HF, until four montlys, but i have strong pain in stomach , it 's normal? For all many time!!!!!Have a medicament for this !!!!!
  • Suhail14
    Suhail14,
    My name is Suhail Perez and on May 21, 2017 I was diagnosed with Heart Failure, at the time I was 30 yrs old. For months I thought I was suffering from severe allergies, little did I know my lungs were filled with water. On May 20, 2017 I went to a BBQ and by 11pm, I couldn't breathe. I was rushed to the ER and was diagnosed with severe Pnemonia, that's when the doctors also found my heart only pumping at 15%, enlarged and a leakage. My entire world came crashing down. I was in the hospital a total of 9 days, out of those 9 days; 4 days in ICU. I was in a coma and didn't wake up until 4 days later. Today is January 31, 2018, my heart is still at 15%, I take 8 pills daily and on September 18, 2017 I had an ICD placed in me. My life is completely different now, I was on my way on becoming an NYPD police officer. I have a 13 yr old daughter and everything is different. I start Cardiac Rehab on Thursday, Feb 1. Nothing is the same, I even got approved for Social Security Disability. I can't work, I'm always tired and I try to make the best out of each day. I went from having a normal life to being a Heart Failure Patient. All I can say is I'm a survivor! I would appreciate any advice, comment etc. I'm having a heart time accepting that I have Heart Failure, I'm angry, sad, upset half the time.
  • JoeSzzz
    JoeSzzz,

    Hello Kim and Shaun,

      If you take 1 gram of ubiquinol every 30 mins for 1 day, your condition will improve greatly. Also try HGH in small doses to improve your heart strength as well. Hope this helps!

    God Bless and all the best!

  • Victoriash
    Victoriash,

    I'm trying to raise awareness for heart failure by writing a novel about a young girl diagnosed with the condition, after she faints at her highschool graduation.i've read a lot about the general symptoms and care. but I'm trying to integrate that into the story and make it personal and relatable. i'm not asking for writing advice but what I'd really like to know is what happens after a person is rushed to the hospital after fainting, the procedures they undergo,how many months they spend in the hospital, and the after care(I know they're supposed to limit sodium, watch diet, check weight from time to time.) But what else; are they weaker, do they have to stop doing some activies the increase the heart rate.

    if it isn't too much with all the wonderful work you do, could you give me more information to make my novel authentic. I really want to capture the experience people with such a battle face.

    I'm fifteen and it's my first novel. I'm currently eight chapters in, but it's missing core heartfailute details in the middle four chapters and her condition is the one of the main themes. Please and thank you. i'll even give you credit in my book when I'm done if you deem this worth enough to reply

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