Ana Gonzalez’s Journey to Heart Recovery: From Heart Failure to Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

My name is Ana Gonzalez, I am 29 years old and I am a pre-kindergarten teacher. One afternoon, I was enjoying lunch with my cousin when I began experiencing an anaphylactic reaction. My cousin drove me to a hospital in Douglas, AZ where I collapsed in the emergency room. The medical staff determined I needed escalated care and transported me to Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, AZ.

Despite continued treatment for my allergic reaction, my health continued to deteriorate. I was in cardiogenic shock and an echocardiogram revealed I was in bi-ventricular failure with an ejection fraction of less than 10% (normal is 55-65%). My interventional cardiologist Dr. Nader Makki inserted the Impella RP® and Impella CP® to allow my heart to rest. While on support, I was diagnosed with myocarditis. After three days of support and antibiotics, physicians weaned and explanted the Impella RP. Two days later, my heart had made a full recovery and physicians explanted the Impella CP. After completing nearly two weeks in rehab, I returned home with my native heart.

Today, I am student teaching while completing my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. I am so thankful to the amazing staff at Tucson Medical Center, as well as my family for all their support.

 

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