The Bridge to a new heart

Hi my name is Kennise St. Charles -Camille and this is my story.

Around the summer of 2010 I started to sense something wasn't right internally. Prior to my wedding which was scheduled for that Dec. I was experiencing a lot of strange symptoms such as excessive weight gain from fluid retention, constant uncontrollable coughs, abdominal pain, swelling of my feet and other unfamiliar things which I could not explain. Up until the day of my wedding my body felt the same and reluctant of how i felt, i was getting married no matter what. Dec 11, 2010 I got married to the love of my life and throughout the entire stay of our honeymoon I was experiencing the same uncomfortable symptoms which were intensified by the lack of keeping down any food or liquid, the constant sensation of nausea and followed by hallucinations. Doing the only thing he felt was right my newlywed husband rushed us back to our home city of Orlando Fl.

Upon the completion of our 3 hour drive back home, my husband rushed me straight to the ER, patiently he watched and listened as assumption after assumption were being made as to what was wrong with me. Finally a Nurse Practitioner patiently listened to me describe my symptoms and read to the signs my body was going through and she boldy told me that I had a bad heart, not a bad stomach.

Confirmation of the Nurse Practitioners findings were given by several Doctors that i had Cardiomyopathy & Congestive Heart Failure. I was told my heart was only functioning at 15% out of the normal 65%. I started to undergo the process of taking a long list of medications in high hopes of strengthening my heart for the next 3 months. After those 3 months passed my heart did not get any better and as a precautionary measure they implanted an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) on 04/14/2011, this was just in case my heart was going to slow (to the point of stopping) or to fast (to the point of excessive pacing). If none of those methods work I would need a new heart.

In the beginning of all this I could not sleep unless I was in an upright position as if I were sitting down, I couldn't walk to the bathroom from my bedroom without being short of breath, let alone play with my nieces and nephews without stopping every other minute to catch some kind of breathe. Things started to progress eventually, my EF (ejection fracture) rose to 25% and I didn't have to sit up to sleep anymore. Now I'm down to about 3 pillows, but still at times that was still uncomfortable.

In the Summer of 2013 I went in for a simple heart catheterization and being the medications that I was taking started to be ineffective I ended up getting a swan which at that time they decided to add a medication called Primacore. My heart reacted well to it so I now have a PICC Line which I have to take intravenously directly to my heart 24/7, so I have to carry that medication which is infused by a small machine every where I go.

Now at the age of 32, I was further told that I will need a new heart but was advised to start a bridge to transplant using an LVAD (left ventricle assist devise). The LVAD will do the job of the left side of my heart, and hopefully get me back to normal quality of life. Once my body is receptive to the LVAD I can start preparing myself physically and mentally to undergo a Heart Transplant once one becomes available.

I cannot say that this is an easy road, but with the continual love, care giving, and mental support from husband, family (literal & spiritual) and close friends the process is somewhat lightened. At times it's hard to stay up beat, some days I can barely get out of bed, but I refuse to be defeated by something that no one can explain how I got or why (til this day).

I come asking not only for your PRAYERS but for your financial support. The last two and a half years have been a challenge for my husband and I. Being that he is the only one working the financial burden of this Heart Condition is not easy, and far from coming close to ending. Added to all my previous medical bills i received a $2,000.00 co-pay bill alone for my Primacore and I haven't even had my Open Heart Surgery yet for the LVAD, or my Heart Transplant which is soon to come after that.

So here I am coming to you through GoFundMe for those of you who can help ease this financial weight of this life long alignment I have. If you can't help financially I humbly ask that you keep me and my husband in your prayers and hope you share this with as many people as possible. Share it with your family, friends, church, co-workers.

God Bless,
Kennise St. Charles-Camille


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Kennise St Charles-Camille 
Orlando, FL
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