Danielle Burgener’s Story


Danielle's Story

A 25 year old active woman I had no family history of heart related problems. I am married and have a beautiful 1 year old son. I work as a Health amp; Fitness Specialist for a corporate gym, as well as a GEX instructor and certified personal trainer. I have always been actively involved in sports. I naturally have a lower blood pressure and no know health issues. So on Feb. 22 2009 when I was awoken in the middle of the night by extreme pain in my chest and in my upper back I was concerned. I had swallowed my daily vitamin pill and laid down with my husband preparing to go to bed when I starting feeling a lot of pressure building up in my chest. I had to get up, but the pain didn’t really go away. Then I started noticing that my back was tightening up. I tried to lie down and was in and out of sleep for another hour when I woke up in clear pain. Now the once bothersome pain in my back turned into seizing of my back in between my shoulder blades. The pain radiated up my neck giving me an awful headache, not to mention the pain in my chest that radiated up through my mouth.After about 15 minutes my husband and I decided to head to the hospital. Once my mother arrived to watch over our sleeping little boy we headed to the hospital. I was taken in quickly but after undergoing a lot of tests, my pain had diminished and instead my exhaustion was settling in. At about 8 am the ER doctor came in and said that my troponin levels were elevated as was my d-dimer and I was going to be admitted. Once admitted and transferred to the cardiology wing the cardiologist came in to re-assure me that nothing was wrong with me and I would be going home by 5 pm that night. That was until my next troponin test came back and it was evident that I had suffered a heart attack of some sort. As the day went on and my levels continued to increase I was put on 3 different blood thinners until I could undergo my angiogram that was scheduled for the next morning. It was then that they found my clot and discovered that I have an abnormality in my right coronary artery, even to date it has yet to have ever been seen before, but hopefully my trip to Cedars-Sinai in May might change all of that. I have been diagnosed with Congenital Right Coronary Artery Disease.I seem to be recovering well. I am on Plavix and aspirin indefinitely and am trying to get into the swing of things…recovering my level of fitness has felt like a long road (considering the fact that the doctors think that my EF looks great…it still doesn’t feel like it). I am currently trying to absorb all that I can about heart health. Thus far I still fit none of the risk factors and don’t know why I had a heart attack at age 25 but I am grateful for the ER doctor and admitted me for further testing…without her I don’t know where I would be!!

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