It’s 5 days until Christmas, I’ve got a 2 month old baby, and you’re telling me I’m dying?

It was December 19, 2004. A day that will forever live in my personal album of moments as one of the worst days of my life. I was 33 years old. I had an infant son, born just 2 months previously. It was 5 days from Christmas. And some emergency room cardiologist-on-call had just told me that I had something called post-partum cardiomyopathy – that my heart was only working at 8-10% efficiency (normal is 60-65%) – and that without a heart transplant, I would probably be dead within 6 months.

Not exactly what a new mom is expecting to hear. Definitely not what any mom (or anyone, for that matter) wants to hear. But there it was. My son’s birth – which was extremely difficult as I went into full-blown eclampsia and almost died during an emergency c-section – had permanently damaged my heart muscle to the point where the doctors didn’t believe I could ever possibly recover.

Obviously, the fact that I am sitting here almost 14 years after my son’s birth would suggest that the doctors were wrong. And to some extent they were. The diagnosis was correct, it was just the prognosis that was wrong. And even though I survived, my life certainly isn’t what it was before my heart decided to stop functioning properly!