Abiah’s Story

Discover How Myocarditis Stole the Life of 11-Year-Old Abiah

Abiah Leaves a Legacy of Love, Peace and Compassion

As told by Abiah’s mom, Patricia McElveen

Abiah Leaves a Legacy of Love, Peace and Compassion
Abiah McElveen

Fifth grader, 11-yr-old Abiah, was seen by her pediatrician for fever and a horrible cough in February 2008. Diagnosed with bronchitis, she was given a prescription for antibiotics and told to expect up to 72 hours for the antibiotics to work.

Five days later, Abiah was taken to the Emergency Room with a temperature of 103, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Her chest x-ray did not show pneumonia, and she was again diagnosed with bronchitis and given a different antibiotic.

Six weeks later, on Good Friday, Abiah awakened with her normal cheerful behavior, but later complained that her chest was tight and hurting, and she could not breathe. She stood up, then collapsed; 911 was called.

Paramedics took her vital signs which appeared normal. When Abiah and her parents reached the hospital, doctors said there was something seriously wrong with Abiah’s heart and had her airlifted to another hospital.

One hour after her arrival, Abiah’s heart stopped beating, and she was resuscitated and placed on life support. The doctors said Abiah had a rare viral infection which had affected her heart muscle. When asked what virus, they replied they didn’t know because there were so many and it was hard to narrow it down. Abiah was placed on the heart transplant list and preparations began to find a compatible heart. Despite their best efforts, Abiah died Saturday night, only a few hours before Easter Sunday.

Abiah was a very intelligent, vibrant, energetic girl who was active in school and church functions, and known by her classmates as “everybody’s friend”. Her picture hangs in the school library and she leaves a legacy of love, peace, and compassion.

Myocarditis subtly and very aggressively destroyed our daughter’s heart, leaving our family heartbroken and wondering how and why something like this can happen; myocarditis stole our 11 yr old daughter’s life.