A while after my echocardiogram and multiple tests were conducted, my Drs brought my parents into the room and wanted to discuss the situation with us.
I didn’t understand most of the things they were saying but one thing that kept playing back in my head was “KJ, you are going to die.”
I remember bursting out into tears (my mother had already beat me to it) but I just kept remembering all the fun times I’ve had - it really is like one of those flashbacks you see in the movies when a character is about to die and they have that 10 second gap where they’re just picturing everything and the exciting moments they’ve experienced, the interesting people they’ve met. The background talking just started to all fade away.
My Drs then diagnosed me with Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Stage 2 Heart Failure.
At that time I didn’t really quite understand it but the thing that kept scaring me was the thought that I might not wake up tomorrow. My nurse Connie, came to speak to me when my parents went outside to discuss the situation with my Drs. She told me; I looked like a strong kid and that I had to set a positive mindset in order to beat this and come out on top whilst wiping my tears. From that moment on, my mindset was to prove the Drs wrong and prove to them as well as my family that you should never give up.
In the night I spent hours and hours researching what all of this meant. What I gathered from it was that, Dilated Cardiomyopathy usually leads to death, but there were a lot of possibilities out there. There are magnificent stories of people out there who have beat the odds, cured themselves through medication or even found alternatives so that they wouldn’t pass. Technology has come so far that even mechanical hearts exist, think about.. there are people out there who walk the streets and have mechanical hearts.
I asked nurse Connie if she had ever seen a patient in situations like mine, she replied to me saying - “KJ, there are kids out there who face more problems than you but they still get through it”. She told me that there had been multiple children who had stayed in the same ward and all of them were given a second chance at life by receiving a heart transplant. I read a lot of stories of people that were cured through medication and this is the aim I set out for myself.
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