Annie’s Story

No One Would Believe the 32-Year-Old Had a Heart Problem?Until Congestive Heart Failure

Annie Says Shes Still Here Because of Positive Thinking and Unshakable Faith

Annie Says Shes Still Here Because of Positive Thinking and Unshakable Faith
Annie Schofield

I checked in to emergency room at the local hospital. A man in a white coat stood face to face with me and asked if I was having chest pains or shortness of breath. My reply was yes. He looked at me in disbelief and told me to have a seat in the waiting room; it would be an hour or so before I was called.

I was 32 years old and in good shape; no one would believe I had a heart problem. I left and drove to Dr. Guilberts office 30 minutes away in the snowstorm. I was rushed out of his office by ambulance and taken to the city hospital. I had congestive heart failure that night.

They did emergency surgery to install a heart pump. I was then rushed to Tufts in Boston where I had a new heart pump installed and a biopsy. I was diagnosed with giant cell myocarditis and placed on the transplant list.

Against all odds I left the hospital weeks later with my own heart at full function. Eighteen months later I was back at Tufts in a coma for months. I arrested several times. They called the CDC in hopes of answers.

I was finally diagnosed with Meningeal Encephalitis and cerebritis. My immune system attacked my brain. I was treated with steroids, antiviral agents and Cytoxan, eventually fully regaining my memory.

One year later I was rushed out of Dr. Guilberts office again. I had Pulmonary Embolism, and chronic kidney disease stage III, systemic lupus erythmatosis, lupus nephritis, vasculitis. The next year I had a right atrial collapse, pleurisies, and pericarditis with bibasilar atelectasis.

Against all odds and expectations I am still here. My secret you ask? Positive thinking and an unshakable faith.