Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 32

Health2Wellness

A Tale of Two Hearts

By Sara Dickey, Development Director, American Heart Association

isters, daughters, and twins are all titles
Sbeingthat
Cecilia and Katarina were used to
called but survivor was one they

never expected. Their Heart Story began
in the summer of 2016 when Katarina woke
up with a terrible cold. Over the next few
hours, she was in and out of consciousness
and rushed to the emergency room where
the medical staff performed CPR, put in a
breathing tube, and gave her epinephrine
before she was sent to Penn State Hershey
Children's Hospital via Life Flight. It was
there that her parents, Ed and Krista, found
out that Katarina was in severe heart failure.

While Katarina was being cared for, the
hospital gave her twin sister Cecilia a chest
x-ray as a precaution. Despite not having any symptoms, the x-ray showed that
Cecilia was also in severe heart failure and
was immediately admitted. Six days later,
both girls underwent open heart surgery
to receive special pacemakers that helped
both sides of their hearts to squeeze better.
Finally, after ten long days, the girls were
on their way home.
32 Women2Women Summer 2018

2018 BERKS COUNTY HEART WALK
Gring's Mill Recreation Area, Reading
Saturday, September 29, 2018 9AM-Noon

Their official diagnosis is idiopathic dilated
cardiomyopathy, meaning that their hearts
were enlarged and weakened by an unknown
cause. Heart failure is a chronic disease that
occurs when the heart muscle is not pumping
efficiently. There is no cure.

off the transplant list until better treatments
can be found. Katarina and Cecilia are now
beautiful young ladies who, while having
weakened hearts, live relatively normal lives.

Two years later, the girls have regular visits with
the heart failure team at Children's Hospital of
Philadelphia. They take a variety of medications
to help their hearts work more efficiently, lower
their risk of dangerous arrhythmias that cause
the heart to suddenly stop, prevent fluid buildup,
and keep their hearts from further deteriorating.

Ed, Krista, Katarina, and Cecilia, along with
their brothers Spencer and Nate, are excited
to serve as this year's Ambassador Family for
the Berks County American Heart Association.
Their goal while serving in this role is to
raise awareness around their daughters' rare
disease and the importance of having AEDs
in public places. They want to enjoy every
day as a family and keep the girls thriving!

The girl's journey is long from over; nearly
a quarter of all children diagnosed with
cardiomyopathy will one day require a heart
transplant. Ed and Krista's goal is to keep them

To learn more about the American Heart
Association and sign up for the 2018 Berks
County Heart Walk in September, visit
www.heart.org.


http://www.heart.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Summer 2018

Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 1
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 2
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 3
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 4
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 5
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 6
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Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 40
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