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Kate O’boyle’s Story

Cardiomyopathy Survivor, Age 59, Moodus, CT

Gives and receives support

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Kate's Story

I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and Dilated Cardiomyopathy in March of 2008.  This came as a complete shock to me as I had no idea that my health condition was that poor.  At the time of my diagnosis, I was a Middle School Principal and very active in sports and recreation.  What led me to the hospital that night was difficulty breathing, which I attributed it to some form of asthma.  Luckily, I wasn’t the doctor. My journey has been one filled with major changes to my personal and professional life, but I am still here to talk about it.  I have had an ICD since April of 2008 and although it was told to me that I would need a transplant at that time, I was able to stave off the transplant until recently.  In June of 2013 I was implanted with an LVAD (Left Ventricle Assist Device) as the functioning of my heart finally reached its’ critical level.  Having LVAD surgery and the recovery was the hardest thing I ever had to do for myself, but I made it and I might add, I feel better than ever.  At present I am on the transplant list and am anxiously awaiting the call for my new heart but in the meantime, I will use this old heart of mine to help and serve others. On a final note, giving up my career as a school administrator was difficult but I was determined to find different ways to utilize my talents.  With that in mind, over the past 5 years I lost 50 pounds, exercised on a regular basis, started up a non-profit, and established programs for children with disabilities.  I currently sit on an Executive Board for a Special Education Program at a local Catholic Elementary School, am part of the Early Childhood Council in my town, mentor a middle school student, sit on a committee in a local town that helps meet the needs of students and families, and I am the President of my local Rotary Club.  A big thanks go out to my spouse, family, friends, doctors, and acquaintances who have cheered me on over the years and have been a great support system for me!

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Kate is interested in giving and receiving support from other women with heart disease. Contact her if you'd like to give and receive support.

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