Meet Antonella

Something special happened to me two years ago.

I’m here to say that I received the most precious gift of life. A new heart. I am so happy to be here today. I’m a 54 yr old woman that is happily married to my husband for 28 years. I also have a beautiful 27 year old daughter.

I have Lupus, and I was diagnosed with it at the age of 19, which means it’s been 35 years since I was first diagnosed. I got married to my husband in 1991. Shortly after I had my daughter on February 14, 1992, she was born at only two pounds & one ounce, because of Lupus. Due to a clotting disorder that I have (anti phospholipid syndrome), I had a heart attack. It was 8 months later after I gave birth to my daughter and I got a blood clot, in my heart.

In January of 1992, I had to get a mitral valve replacement. I was only 28. My heart was now damaged from the heart attack. For 20 years, I was struggling with a sick and bad heart. As years went by, my heart was getting enlarged year after year.

In 2007, my doctor diagnosed me with Ventricular Tachycardia. Soon after I found out that I had this fast heart beat, I got an attack and went into cardiac arrest. I was implanted with a defibrillator/pacemaker shortly after. I was doing well with it for 7 years, until one day I had an attack where my defibrillator started shocking over and over. My heart finally couldn’t take it any more — and I went into cardio arrest again.

I was rushed to RCH hospital and I was there for 2 weeks. I was transferred to SPH where a heart transplant team took care of me. I was in the hospital for 2 months. The doctors told me then that I needed a new heart cause my heart was only working at 15%. I was implanted with a heart pump (lvad) until they found me a donor. I waited 8 months and then I got a new heart.

I wanted to share this story with all my heart survivor friends, because I wanted all of you to know that miracles do happen. God is good!

I want to thank  all of the people who gave me a second chance at life.

First of all, the firemen and paramedics that were there to assist me at the time of need. My donor and the family — I would not be here today if it weren’t for you. God for always watching over me. Dr. Cheung for my transplant. All of my cardiologists and heart transplant team. The wonderful nurses that took care of me, and my husband for being there, and never giving up on me. My daughter for standing by my side along with the rest of my family and friends. I’m so happy that you are all in my life. I could have never gotten through this without you. May God bless you all! ️️

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