Story Timeline

I have started and re-started this blog so many times but I guessntil now I have not really been ready to completely share this experience with the world. I have heart failure and am waiting for a heart transplant. Most of my family know, some of my friends, and a few colleagues, but I now have a desire to share my story more widely in hopes that my experiences may help someone else. I found that as I learned more about my condition, read about others’ stories, my perspective changed and so did my hope for the future.

This blog is my chronicle and this is my story.

break

  • June 17, 2005

    Nick asks me to marry him. On HIS birthday. I said YES! I have the best fiance ever.

  • July 18, 2005

    The day my then fiance, Nick, and I moved to BC.

  • July 18, 2005

    The day I collapsed and was admitted to hospital. Two days later I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Ejection Fraction at 15% (55-65% is considered normal). My family was told that the next 72 hours were critical and that they should be prepared for the worst.

  • July 28, 2005

    Home from the hospital amongst the cardboard boxes, our two cats and my family. Ejection Fraction at 40%. Good times.

  • September 1, 2005

    First day of my Ph.D. program. Cardiologist told me I should probably withdraw from school. I said “nope”. Nick agreed.

  • October 7, 2006

    Nick and I were married. It was an over-the-top extravaganza and it was awesome. Nick even designed an ice sculpture. My job was simply to show up. I now have the best husband ever.

  • March 2010

    Accepted a Faculty Position at the University of Victoria AND a Post-doctoral Fellowship at Harvard University. Faculty job to begin once postdoc is over. Officially exceeded all expectations. Mind. Blown.

  • April 10, 2010

    Had a stroke. Lost use of right arm and developed aphasia (slurred speech). Discovered massive clotting in heart. Ejection Fraction at 28%.

  • July 10, 2010

    Successfully defended my doctoral thesis. Take #that people who told me to quit!

  • July 2010

    Nick and I drove across Canada to Boston. An amazing trip and a dream come true for both of us. I love my country!

  • August 1, 2010

    First official day as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. Wicked. Awesome.

  • August 15, 2010

    Found a cardiologist to take me on for the year and made an appointment.

  • November 1, 2010

    ICD surgery and implant. Officially bionic. Weird but cool at the same time.

  • December 31, 2010

    Times Square in New York City with Nick. Front row seats! A once in a lifetime event unlike any other.

  • July 1, 2011

    First official day as a Faculty member at the University of Victoria. Just so happens Nick and I were at a conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Our FIRST time in Europe!

  • July 28, 2013

    Officially home owners! YES!

  • August 21, 2013

    Ejection Fraction at 15%. Hospitalization for episode of heart failure. Assessment for heart transplantation.

  • September 3, 2013

    Accepted as a candidate for heart transplantation. First official day on the list.

  • October 4, 2013

    MitraClip procedure performed to relieve symptoms of severe mitral regurgitation. Preliminary results are encouraging. Status quo and still on the list.

  • March 5, 2014

    Extreme exhaustion. Hospitalization for episode of heart failure. Taking an Inotrope Vacation.

  • March 17, 2014

    Had my first open heart surgery. Received my Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Vlad. #WorldSeriesOfHearts

  • April 14, 2014

    Released from the hospital following my LVAD surgery and all kinds of complications. #HardToKill

  • October 7, 2014

    While on the phone with a hospital committee (I was NOT working … volunteering) I received THE CALL that a heart was available.

    Also. My 8th Wedding Anniversary!

  • October 8, 2014

    In the early morning hours I received my gift of life from an anonymous donor. #NoWords #JustGratitude

  • April 12, 2015

    I participated in the 5km Transplant Trot in Vancouver. I can walk and breathe at the same time. #AlmostNormal

  • April 13, 2015

    I had the last of my hardware removed, my (unplugged) ICD. Officially #UnBionic

  • May 16, 2015

    I flew (yes, FLEW!) back to Edmonton to surprise friends and family for the 5km Transplant Trot. I can still walk and breathe at the same time. #DefinitelyAlmostNormal

  • June 2015

    Nick graduates with his Ph.D. 

  • July 1, 2015

    First day back at the University of Victoria. Well, after the holiday, that is! #SoFarSoGood

  • October 7, 2015

    My 9th Wedding Anniversary

  • October 8, 2015

    My First Heart Birthday!

  • October 11, 2015

    Competed in the 8km Road Race at the Victoria Marathon. CBC Wrote a Story.

    Also. My 39th Birthday.

    Also. Canadian Thanksgiving.