Heart Broken

9/11/14 My life changed. I was at work and just not feeling right at all, so I decided I needed to take a trip to the emergency room. The doctors thought it may be a severe migraine, later the MRI showed that I had suffered 2 strokes on the right side of my brain and one previous stroke on my left side. I was lucky to not have any paralysis or brain damage that I know of. My vision is still blurry and I get headaches often. 

The BIG question on everyones mind was... Why did I have the strokes. I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, I eat organic and Gluten free. I also exercise regularly, I don't have a history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol... SO WHY?????

A couple days into my hospital stay and what felt like a hudred tests later the doctor ordered a TEE test which is where a ultra sound is taken of your heart via a tube inserted down your throat. The doctors found out why I was in this situation after doing this test.

I have a heart defect called Patent Foramen Ovale or PFO and Atrial Septal Aneurysm or ASA.... so what is that? So glad you asked....lol

-A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart that didn't close the way it should after birth.

During fetal development, a small flap-like opening — the foramen ovale (foh-RAY-mun oh-VAY-lee) — is usually present between the right and left upper chambers of the heart. It normally closes during infancy. When the foramen ovale doesn't close, it's called a patent foramen ovale.

-Atrial septal aneurysm is a congenital cardiac abnormality that is characterized by saccular formation of the interatrial septum. Redundant atrial septal tissue results in bulging of the septum into either or both atria during the cardiac cycle.

Atrial septal aneurysm is clinically significant because of its association with cryptogenic stroke especially when there is a concurrent PFO. Approximately 70% of patients with ASA also have a PFO, while PFO is present in only 22% of patients without ASA. In one study, the combination of ASA and PFO was associated with a 33-fold higher risk of cryptogenic stroke.[1] A meta-analysis has also found that ASA alone or ASA with PFO is associated with ischemic and cryptogenic strokes in patients <55 years of age. The strongest association is in those patients with both an ASA and a PFO.[4] In patients <45 years of age with ischemic cerebral events, ASA should especially be suspected as a cardioembolic source. Mattioli and colleagues[5] reported that 86% (43 of 50) of such patients had an ASA as the only possible etiology while 97% (42 of 43) of these younger patients with ASA also had a PFO.

There are only a handful of doctors that specialize in this heart defect, the expert in this field is located in Houston, TX.

SO!! with all of that medical stuff out of the way.

Why we need help:

-We have to pay whatever bills my insurance will not cover. 
-Driving to and from the doctors office and hospital.
-Paying our bills at home, which includes child support for my oldest son.
-Driving to Houston, TX to see a specialist in my condition. So gas, hotel, food...ect.
-Some of my medications are not covered by insurance and are very costly.
-My youngest son has a birthday at the end of this month and we would like to take him to the Zoo or something. I think he deserves a day to himself.

I know that was a lot to take in and you may even have questions. I assure you that I would not ask for help if I didn't need it in some way. 

Thank you for your help, and support. Please share this with friends and family.

God Bless


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Gabriel Scofield 
Cornerview, LA
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