Friday, February 1, 2013


I’d like to tell you the story about why Go Red For Women is so dear to my heart (no
pun intended). On January 24, 2012 my mother had a massive heart attack. There were
a few very minor signs that she might have heart disease, but even her family physician
considered her to be the picture of health. What has happened the last year has been an
incredible journey of the heart.
My Sisters mom and I in 2012 Proud grandma my sis is expecting a girl and this is my pregnancy w/the twins
The heart attack left only 25% of her hear functioning.  The fact that she survived is a complete miracle. We were scared poopless.  I had sneaked a peek at her once blue eyes and they were a flat brown. I never told my family b/c I didn't want to scare them as much as I saw the lifelessness in her eyes.  The day the doctors were about to give up she finally responded to my voice. ME BARNEY BEAGLE! (flash back to 80's children book)  Mom was in a coma for 10 days.   Once she woke they wanted to give her a few weeks on a massive LVAD to see if any of her heart would regenerate.  It didn't.  So, the next step she's the perfect candidate for a Heart Mate II a portable LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device a heart pump)  they install in the body and she carries around 20 pounds of equipment all the time.  This makes Open Heart Surgery #2.  My oldest sister and I were trained to take care of her her Heart Mate and changing the site of entrance.  Mom did great through surgery though we still were nervous as crap.  After mom recovered and was sent home within 2 weeks, she had to decide if she wanted to live permanently with the Heart Mate or see if she could get on the Heart Transplant list.  She went a few months with carrying around 20 pounds of equipment and going through extensive REHAB after she was sent home.  She went for it.  She went through all the tests at UVA and was approved in July 2012.  After she was approved she had to continue REHAB and get as strong and healthy as possible so she could be strong enough to make it through the transplant.  She got so healthy she was moved from the 2nd list to the 1st list the week of October 15th.  She got the call Oct 25th at 1am get up here now!  SO, I received a phone call around 2:15am saying my sister was driving them up to UVA they had a heart!  Thank GOD I thought she or daddy were going back in the Hospital. (they did take up double occupancy in the ER once in the midst of this story in which I turned green and was sent from the room by my mom's nurse and now family friend Shana! YES MY LIFE IS CRAZY)   Mom made it through and was funny on her drugs!  LOL  (she's barely had a drink in her life much less anything else)  She was sent home in less than 2 weeks if I remember correctly.  I took care of her the weekend after and my sister took over after that due to the fact retail and November/December doesn't allow much time off.

Mom with my oldest after coming home from transplant (sorry for grainy pic it's from my phone)

 Thankfully my managers were amazing enough to let me have 2 or 3 weekends off that close to Black Friday!  Mom visited UVA weekly and was quickly moved to bi-weekly visits and now has moved to monthly visits.  She's able to pick up her younger grand kids now and play and all she wanted to do before.  She can only wait for the go ahead to be able to pick up the bigger grand kids!  Mom had a test about a month ago that tells the likeliness of rejection of the heart and her test came back less than 10% which is so amazing and exciting!  We are blessed that my mom Vickie is still here with us and that she has an amazing new heart.  She loves hearing about my blog and hearing about my author friends and the support they've sent her way.  Y'all will never know what that means to her and me!  So there you go.   I will give some links below for different helpful hints and articles on Women's Heart Disease.  

Facts about Heart Disease
Symptoms of Heart Attack & Stroke
Live Healthy


1 comment:

  1. Tobi so glad everything worked out. Any heart attack is scary, my husband had one February 13, of 2011. I can't imagine what your family went through.