“At 25-years-old and 400 pounds with heart failure, just walking up the stairs became difficult and left me out of breath. I went to the emergency room at Sentara CarePlex Hospital, unable to breathe on my own, where doctors had to put in a tracheostomy tube to help my lungs function. And the hardest part: I would need to lose 200 pounds before the tube could be removed! That seemed impossible at the time and after spending two months in the hospital to manage my heart failure, I lost all muscle strength. It took four months of rehab to learn how to stand up and walk again.
I am now eating and living healthier. Before I went into the hospital, I tried to eat just salads and vegetables and cut out everything else completely. This would work for a day, but then I would go right back to eating unhealthy foods in large quantity. Now I have learned about portion control. I also try to eat a vegetable with every meal, and I have not eaten fast food in several months. I am proud to say that I have lost over 100 pounds and am working towards losing more weight every day.
My goals include losing weight to remove the trach, and to go back to school. I want to have a career and my own home by the time I am 30. Thanks to your donations to the patient assistance fund, I was able to receive the care and medications I needed to begin a healthier lifestyle.”
Congestive heart failure patient