Leilani G. - Heart Warrior & Heart Transplant Receipient
Leilani, now age twenty - six, was an incredibly active kid. She grew up playing over ten sports and participating in a plethora of outdoor activities throughout the Peninsula Bay Area. One day while jogging on the treadmill Leilani went into a cardiac seizure and an aborted sudden cardiac arrest.
After a week of testing it was determined that Leilani had Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or excess thickening of the left ventricle leaving the heart susceptible to ventricular fibrillation. Doctors decided to place an Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator in her chest to deliver a life-saving shock in the event of a V-Tach (Ventricular Tachycardia) episode.
As she grew up, she had to modify her activities to fit her cardiac restrictions. Fortunately, her early love for theatre and performance blossomed into a life-long passion that she could pursue in her own way, despite her limitations. Throughout her late-teens and early adult years, Leilani experienced three episodes of V-Tach requiring an ICD shock, while her heart responded excellently to this device, it was slowly becoming weaker and more vulnerable.
In October of 2015 Leilani was listed for a heart transplant and in February of 2016 Leilani received her new donated heart. Today she is learning to live life through the opportunities afforded with her new heart. She has blogged about her experience pre and post - transplant, her recovery, and her love of music and culinary arts. She hopes that her experience will help others coping with the lifestyle challenges and changes of transplant. Click here to read Leilani's blog.