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.


  • 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.