“My name is Anniston. When I was 9 I was a healthy softball player. I was walking out of school one day and my heart stopped. CPR was performed and I was seen at CHNOLA. After a few years and a lot of visits with Dr. Kelly Gijowski at CHNOLA I was diagnosed with CPVT. I was doing a stress test with Dr. Gijowski and went into V Tach. Shortly after that she placed a pacemaker/Defibrillator in me and I had an ICU stay with the best nurses and doctors ever! In September of 2022 I was at my high school football game and went into V Fib and I was passed out and my defibrillator shocked me back into rhythm.
I was flown from Alexandria to CHNOLA. I stayed in ICU and was discharged home. I went to Texas Childrens in November and had a rare surgery to remove part of my sympathetic nerves to hopefully reduce cardiac events.
Since then, I have started a non profit called “Restoring Our Hearts” to raise money for more AEDs in schools in my community and to make them all “Heart Safe Schools”. If one life is saved because of this cause, it was all worth it.
The Ronald McDonald House has been more than wonderful for my family when we need to be close to the hospital. Thank you so very much to our Ronald McDonald Family!!”
GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED:
CPVT: Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is an inherited cardiac condition that causes sudden rhythm disturbances, called arrhythmias, in otherwise healthy children. These abnormal rhythms most often occur at times of high adrenaline levels, such as during exercise or strong emotion.
V Tach: Ventricular tachycardia (VT or V-tach) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia. It occurs when the lower chamber of the heart beats too fast to pump well and the body doesn’t receive enough oxygenated blood.
V Fib: Ventricular fibrillation is a type of irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). During ventricular fibrillation, the lower heart chambers contract in a very rapid and uncoordinated manner. As a result, the heart doesn’t pump blood to the rest of the body