Find Out How a Seemingly Healthy 16-Year-Old Survived Myocarditis

Caseys Intestinal Symptoms Led to a Heart Attack

As told by Caseys mom, Libby Blevins

Caseys Intestinal Symptoms Led to a Heart Attack
Casey Blevins

On May 27, 2010 (my birthday), our son, Casey, called from school saying he had chest pains. Hed had very mild intestinal symptoms the week prior and was somewhat lethargic afterward, so I already had mothers intuition something wasnt right.

My husband had near-total blockage of LAD at 37, so I was suspicious and immediately went into action, despite paramedics saying he was probably dehydrated, Drink Gatorade and rest. I called family doctor who examined and sent him for blood work and EKG just in case.

Casey was fine when we went out for my birthday dinner. When we got home, the doctor called saying get him to the ER right away. Caseys blood cardiac Troponin level was seven and climbed as high as 13 (normal is 0.2!), indicating ongoing heart muscle damage. They said he was having a heart attack.

How could my 16-year-old be having a heart attack? He went by ambulance to Ohio State Universitys Ross Heart Hospital. My husband was in Japan and flew home?an agonizingly long trip with no communication. I was scared and doctors werent saying much.

Cardiac catheterization showed clear coronaries. Next, cardiac MRI showed myocarditis, assumed viral from the brief illness. Casey received medications (still taking today) and had to rest a lot. I felt so blessed to leave that hospital with my child; at times I thought I wouldnt–words cant explain that fear.

At home, I researched and realized exactly how blessed we are! Our son has youth on his side and hopefully will heal completely–last scan showed cardiac healing of around 75%. He might have scar tissue for life. We wont know more until June.

My sons getting ready for prom and will be acting in a play on May 27. I know Ill cry again on my birthday, but this time tears of joy! I truly hope the Myocarditis Foundation can raise awareness and fund research so others may have this kind of outcome. My heart aches daily for those lost to this insidious disease.

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