Little Hearts

Kathryn, born 1993

My daughter Kathryn was born March 2, 1993. She was a healthy baby and gave no indications of any future health problems. Last summer right after school finished, I took her and a friend to a local arcade/restaurant to celebrate. While playing in the arcade Kathryn suddenly without any warning passed out. It was terrifying but she recovered quickly and after being checked out at the hospital they sent us home. They could find nothing wrong.

When we went to our pediatrician a few days later, he decided that we should see a pediatric cardiologist just to be on the safe side as our younger daughter had died from a heart related condition three years earlier after collapsing unexpectedly. Before we could get to that appointment the following week, Kathryn fainted again. This time we went straight to the local children's hospital. After running some tests, they diagnosed her with Long QT Syndrome. She is now taking Atenolol and she had an ICD implanted. We were sent home with a few restrictions but not too many changes.

It was an adjustment psychologically though and that took a while. We were adjusting slowly but surely and then last December her ICD shocked her when her heart went into an abnormal rhythm. Physically she was fine and the defibrillator did what it was supposed to do but the event scared her terribly and we have been recovering from that ever since.

She is doing much better now as time has put space between the event and present day with nothing else occurring. We continue to adjust as a family to her diagnosis. She is very brave and strong as I have watched her deal with everything. I am very proud of her.

UPDATE 2010: Kathryn is doing well although she still continues to struggle with the anxiety brought on by the shocks she has received from her ICD. She experienced two more events of multiple shocks before her medication was changed and in the last three years since the last event, she has not received any shocks. It has now been suggested that rather than being diagnosed with LQTS she may have CPVT. We are waiting on further testing from the Mayo Clinic to determine this.

Story by Karen & Alayna's mom, Karen - Missouri

 
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