Modern Medicine - Got To Love It!

by Erika Laszlo
(Garden City, MI)

I was born with a congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot.

I had bypass surgery when I was two and open heart surgery when I was 5 years old. During my grade school and high school years I lived a relatively normal, healthy life.

It wasn’t until I was 19 years old that I experienced my first “dizzy spell” along with a rapid heart rate and the feeling of passing out. It lasted only a few moments but I was scared.

I went to the ER that night and they couldn’t find anything wrong. All the tests came back normal. When I went to see my cardiologist a few weeks later she thought I had a panic attack. I knew what I experienced wasn’t a panic attack and found myself a new doctor.

When I met with my new cardiologist he suggested an EP study. An EP study is when they insert a catheter to the heart and they send electric impulses to see if they can trigger an arrhythmia.

As soon as the study began my heart started to beat rapidly. It was beating over 300 bpm and I had to be defibrillated back to normal sinus rhythm.

It was then I was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia a.k.a. sudden death syndrome.

The doctor firmly believes that my first episode was sudden death syndrome and that I should have died that day. I was very fortunate that my heart was able to revert back to normal sinus rhythm without medical intervention.

They tried different many medications to control my arrhythmia and it didn’t work. I had a defibrillator (AICD) implanted when I was 20 years old. I was not very happy with this option but I understood it was the only choice I had at the time.

I am very thankful for the AICD. In the last 20 years it has saved my life 8 times. Since then I have been diagnosed with atrial tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and have had a pulmonary valve replaced.

I have been married for almost 11 years and have 2 children. I am thankful for modern medicine. Without it I wouldn’t have the life I lead today.

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