Find Out How One Teen Beat Myocarditis After a Year and a Half of Recovery

James Now Helps Fund Myocarditis Research

Im 18 years old. Im in my first semester of college. My favorite activities are hunting, fishing and playing guitar. The most important things in my life are family, hard work and having fun.

My myocarditis story begins when I was just not feeling good one day. I couldnt fall asleep because my chest hurt. I went to the hospital later that night. Eventually the doctors figured out that I had myocarditis.

For the next couple of weeks, I was stuck in the hospital being monitored and having a lot of blood tests done. I was in a ton of pain, and it was scary to hear that not much could be done to get me healthy because myocarditis is caused by a virus and not much is known about it.

My recovery took about a year and a half, but it seemed like forever to me. I was very weak and felt exhausted all the time.

Slowly I started to get my energy back. At first I took short walks, then jogging, and now I am back to running and lifting weights.

Once in a while I have bad days when I am in a lot of pain and I feel like I was back in day one of recovery, but I push through it. I forced myself not to worry about it and keep going. Recovery was very tough and stressful at times, but I tried my best to be positive.

Myocarditis has definitely changed my life. I was 17, very athletic and perfectly healthy. Then I felt sick one day and ended up in the hospital wondering if I would see tomorrow. My first day home when I was out of the hospital, I walked outside and looked at the blue sky, the trees, heard the birds chirping and I really started to appreciate life more. I try to live every day to the fullest now.

I was curious about the disease so I searched online and found the Myocarditis Foundation website. I wanted to raise money for the Foundation because it was scary for me to hear the doctors tell me that there is no way to treat it or prevent it. I hope that sometime in the future doctors will be able to tell other victims of the disease that myocarditis CAN be treated.

My plan was to try to get people to sponsor me to go on a 16 mile hike. It wasnt an easy task for me at the time, but I had family and friends along with me for motivation. We raised a good amount of money. It felt good to know that I was helping to fund research that could help people fight through myocarditis and be healthy again. Everyone had a good time on the hike and they felt good about themselves too.

Im doing great now. Ive been riding my bike, hiking the Sierras, and my heart doesnt hurt at all. Being in the hospital so long and having myocarditis made me lose almost all my muscle mass on my arms and legs, but I am back to lifting weights and as soon as I get my muscles back, my body will be just as it was before getting sick.

I feel very lucky to have survived and not have any permanent damage done to my heart. With the help of the Myocarditis Foundation, I believe that more people will be as lucky as me and myocarditis wont be such a deadly threat as it is now.

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