My name is Tanesha and I want to tell my niece’s story. My niece, Heather, had 3 beautiful children already and did not plan to have more children. Needless to say we (me and my family members) were surprised when she announced her 4th pregnancy at the age of 29. We, including Heather, were even more surprised to discover it was twins. The pregnancy went fairly well with few complications. About 5 weeks before her due date she gave birth to identical twin baby girls on Dec 18, 2013. We were overjoyed to welcome the new additions to our family. Although premature, the babies were healthy and Heather and the twins were released from the hospital after a brief stay. All was well and Heather and her family began to settle into life with the new baby girls when things changed. Almost 6 weeks to the day, Heather was hospitalized with what was diagnosed as pneumonia at the time. She recovered quickly and was released to go home with no one giving the health episode another thought. Unfortunately, this was the start of the battle for her life. About a month to six weeks later she was hospitalized with shortness of breath and fluid on the lungs prompting her doctors to investigate further into the cause of her condition. The details are a bit fuzzy now but at some point during her many hospital visits she was diagnosed with PPCM. She started on treatments of beta blockers, diuretics and a hosts of other medications and her condition would improve for a while but eventually decline again. Her heart just would not heal itself. Around September 2015 she eventually had to get a defibrillator and was told that she would need a heart transplant. Despite all this she always kept her spirits up regarding her condition. As the months passed she was hospitalized many times over to deal with the complications of PPCM as the condition continued to ravage her body. On Thursday Jan 22nd, 2015, just hours after she and I spoke, she suffered a massive seizure in her home and was rushed to the ER where she again went into cardiac arrest. The medical staff was able to revive her but she was declared brain dead soon after. The family gathered and we talked to her as we normally would and prayed over her for a miracle. On Saturday Jan 24th at 1:01am she passed from complications of PPCM at the age of 31. She leaves behind a son 15, a daughter 11, a son 9 and 1 year old twin baby girls.
Heather had a beautiful spirit. She didn’t have a lot but what always willing to help anyone in need if she could. She was so full of life and had a great sense of humor. She was always fun to be around and could make you laugh no matter what the situation. I love and miss her so much.
Please tell everyone you know about this condition to raise awareness so no other family has to experience the heartbreak and devastation we are going through right now. I’ve learned so much and wonder if her life could have been saved by some of the treatments I’ve read about if only someone had known about and recognized the symptoms early on. Unfortunately, we will never have the opportunity to know.
Thank you for creating this site to support those affected by PPCM and thank you letting me share Heather’s story. I’m praying for you.