My heart rate was skyrocketing
The next thing I knew I was coming round on the bathroom floor. My stepdad Iraj was comforting me while Mum called for an ambulance. I guessed my heart rhythm had spiked and plunged, sending me unconscious, and my pacemaker-defibrillator had shocked me back awake. I opened my mouth to reassure Iraj that I was fine now, but his face was blurry and my eyes were rolling back in my head.
My eyes snapped open and I saw Iraj looking terrified, and calling my name, trying to bring me round. Luckily the paramedics arrived. They hooked me up to a machine that showed my heart rate skyrocketing. I passed out once more.
Coming to, my heart rate shot up. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my chest. It was my life-saving device sending a jolt of electricity through my heart, forcing it to contract and pump again while I was awake. I screamed in pain and terror as I was stretchered into the ambulance and rushed to hospital.
Doctors battled to control my condition and finally, stabilised, I was kept in hospital overnight. I was grateful to be discharged the next day but was back again within 24 hours, struggling to breathe.
“You’re back on the transplant list,” my doctor insisted. “We don’t know how long it will take to get a donor organ and we’ve got to keep you going until then so I think we should look at an artificial heart pump.”
My head was spinning. I was 29 and a mechanical heart was going to keep me alive. It seemed like only yesterday I’d been travelling the world, making friends, and having fun. Now I had reached a stage where without treatment I would die.
Over the next eight weeks I was constantly in and out of hospital. I was becoming weaker each day and my heart rhythm was all over the place. I could feel my heartbeat varying and it scared me.
That’s why I readily agreed to undergo an eight-hour-long, open-heart surgery to implant my mechanical heart pump. It was connected