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Share Your Story: Kim Edmonds

by Christy D. on Monday, March 10, 2014

Kim Edmonds Missouri

My story begins, 42 years ago, at birth.  From the beginning, I had been diagnosed with a heart murmur, which is not uncommon for newborns.  It wasn’t until my sports physical during my senior year in high school until it was ever brought up again.  Initially, I was misdiagnosed with mitral valve prolapse.  After additional testing, they realized I was suffering from aortic stenosis.  They informed me that I would eventually have to have heart surgery sometime within the next 20 years. 

Twenty-three years later, I underwent open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve and remove a sub-aortic membrane.  I thought that would be the end of my heart journey as I believed my heart had been mended.  Unfortunately, that was far from the truth and a year later my heart would fail me again. 

On February 18, 2012, while I was hosting a Zumba fundraiser for the American Heart Association, I suffered a cardiac arrest.  I had just come off the stage and was talking to 2 of my friends.  During our conversation, I said "whoa", held out my arms & collapsed.  At first, they thought I had fainted from all the excitement of the day.   I began having seizures and they realized there was something more going on.  Once I stopped seizing they said my eyes were fixed & glassy & I had no pulse.  They started CPR immediately and called 911.  Once the ambulance arrived, the paramedics had to shock me twice before they could find a pulse. 

I spent the next 11 days in 2 different hospitals.  They decided to do surgery to give me an ICD (Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator).  I was confident that my heart had been fixed.  But on January 28, 2014 I collapsed at the YMCA after an interview for a local news show.  I awoke on the floor and initially it was thought that I had fainted.  Given my heart condition, an ambulance was called.  The EMT's took me to the ER and I found out that my ICD had fired because my heart rate was elevated to over 400 bpm.  I was kept overnight for observation before releasing me.  I am thankful every day for the research that the AHA does.  Without it, I would not be here.