July 5th 2016

5 min read


My name is Lacey. I live near Portland Oregon. I am a wife and a mother. I have a 3 (soon to be 4) year old son and a 4 month old daughter. I was diagnosed with PPCM on July 5th 2016. I have had no prior heart complications nor have I had any inclination that I had a heart problem. I have been a pretty healthy person my entire life. I love to workout, play catch with my husband and kids, go camping, fishing, running, lifting weights, riding my bike. I used to ride my bike 5 almost every day as a teen living with my best friend. I grew up in the country doing country girl things. I got married when I was 20 years young :) I was one of the lucky ones who got to marry her first and only boyfriend and best friend. We have been married for 8 wonderful years. almost 3 years into our marriage we (well more or less my ovaries) decided it was time to have a baby! We got blessed with my amazing son who is the light of my life. He has such a dorky and outgoing personality just like his dad. Then 3 (almost 4 years) later we decided to add to our family because we both felt like God had someone else he wanted to bless us with and that's when we got pregnant with our daughter who is currently 4 months old. She is beautiful and a diva just like me lol. She's a high maintenance little thing ;)

Flash forward to a month ago, we were all packed to go on a 3 week road trip with my husbands family to go to the Dakotas with many stops along the way. We started off in Mt. Rainier, Wa and stayed 4 nights 5 days there and we had a blast! We have many great memories from that first stop along the way. Then when it was time to head to our next destination (Spokane, Wa) we packed all of our stuff up and got on the road. We were a few hours into our drive when my brother in law got into a roll over car accident pulling his camping trailer. In the truck was also my sister in law (bff) and 3 of my nephews- aged 6-9 years old. Everyone sustained injuries- some worse than others, but bad enough for my husband and I that we decided to end our trip with the family and head back home with everyone who was in the accident to help care for them. We got to Washington on the 2nd of July. **I don't remember getting to my sister in laws house, which is where we stayed. So I asked my husband. I don't remember the days between the 2nd of July to the 8th maybe the 9th of July. I get little bits and pieces of things that happened but not much.**

Flash foward again to July 5th, sometime during the evening I got up to use the bathroom at my sister in law's house. Someone had plugged the downstairs toilet and we couldn't find the plunger so she just sent me upstairs to her master bath connected to her bedroom. I closed the door to use the bathroom and the next thing she heard was a soft thud. She called out my name and I gave no response. She found me just laying there unresponsive. She called for my husband who was downstairs to call 911 because I had collasped. He dialed 911 and they instructed him on giving me CPR. He gave me CPR until the paramedics showed up. The paramedics said if my sister in law hadn't of heard me or they couldn't for some reason call 911 and perform CPR I would have been lying there dead. I was close to going into heart failure. I was admited to the hospital and I was put through many tests and they confirmed that I suffer from PPCM. I was unconsious for 3 or 4 days just in and out of it. I finally started to respond to tests they were giving me, like squeezing my hand, asking me to move my foot. Asking me if I knew where I was, if I had any kids and what their names were. I remembered my husband right away, I remembered I had a son but not his name. I didn't remember my daughter. I thought my sister was a cousin. I kind of remember when Jason told me where I was and why. He told me I was diagnosed with PPCM and that Addy was on formula because I could no longer breastfeed because I was in the hospital and because of the medications I was on. I remember I was more sad about not being able to breastfeed than finding out I had PPCM. When I started breastfeeding I knew in my heart that she was going to be my last baby so I was really looking forward to breastfeeding her but we had complications with it any way so I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to continue but I really pushed for it. I changed my diet for her and everything but her tummy is just so sensitive. She's now on Gerber Gentle for tiny tummies, and she's so much happier than on my breastmilk.

While I was in the hospital I was given an MRI of the heart and it showed I was positive for an enlarged heart. My world fell apart in that hospital. I was trying to stay so strong and not fall apart because that's just who I am as a person. I don't let things bring me down. I have God lifting me up so much with so many other things that I didn't have time to feel the truth that I really do have PPCM. I had never felt the presence of Christ so strongly before I was in the hospital. My husband said he kept praying that I would feel at ease and like I was being hugged by Christ and everyone who was praying for me. That is exactly how I felt. I tried and tried to explain how I felt so many times and I just couldn't. Then he told me what he was praying for and that was exactly how I felt. I felt warm safe arms around me the entire time I was in the hospital.

Its a day by day adjustment getting used to the fact that I DO have PPCM and that I will forever have it unless I take good care of myself. I am now on a low salt diet- no more than 2,000mg a day and I am restricted to one cup of coffee instead of the 2 or 3 I was drinking before. I can't exercise on my own any more unless it is low impact. But I am not restricted to how much I can play with my son, or how many kisses I can give my daughter in a day. I am not restricted to how many times I tell my husband thank you or call him my life saver. I get to wake up every morning and see my little divas whining face because she's hungry. I have the luxury of getting up "too early" with my son, or sleeping in with my daughter. I get to help put my scared 3 year old back to sleep at night. I get to walk on the beach and breath in the salty air. I have so many things that I get to do still. I am alive. I have air in my lungs. I have Christ in my heart. I am surrounded by so many people that love me and were there for my family and my home when we were away. I have so much to live for that God knew it wasn't my time to go to my holy home. I am so thankful for that.

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 05/07/2016
  • Child: 2
  • Initial EF: 20
  • Current EF: 20

Story By Lacey Atwood

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