Life with an LVAD while waiting for a heart transplant

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This week, we’re talking with Melanie Field, aka Mel, all the way from London, UK. Sign-up to join the Live Zoom Conversation.

Mel was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy at 28 while she was 4 months pregnant with her first daughter. She managed her condition relatively well until she had a tooth removed at 36. This led to an infection and severe congestive heart failure. Mel later developed some arrhythmias and had an ICD fitted at the age of 38…

Now, in her 40s, she has also lived through a cancer scare (the tumor thankfully turned out to be benign) and hormonal troubles that have further weakened her heart.

Mel underwent LVAD surgery in September 2018. And she is currently awaiting a heart transplant. She remains hopeful even though she is told that finding her a match may be very difficult due to her high level of antibodies and her blood group.

Despite so many challenges, Mel has made many happy memories while living with her LVAD. She continues to thrive while enjoying her family and friends.

Gabrielle has conductive heart disease and has an ICD fitted. She also has the same defective heart gene (BAG3) as her mum and me. She is doing ok and is seen by her cardiologist every 6 months.

Eleanor did not want to have the gene test as she wasn’t sure she wanted to know if she had it; however, I think she will now get it done as her sister got her results back, and she is clear. Mel’s mum has dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and kidney failure, but thankfully she is doing ok. I’ve lost her sister, nan, aunt, and uncle to the condition, and her mum’s cousin had her heart transplant 35 years ago. The condition stems from her great grandfather’s side.

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