Belinda's story

Around 16 years ago I had what I thought was a vomiting bug...boy was I in for a hell of a shock.

When I arrived at the Gold Coast Hospital the Drs gave me 2 bags of saline because for days now I hadn't even been able to hold down even a mouthful of water.

They were confused as to what the problem was, until I started rubbing my chest (it was so sore from being sick so much).

They decided to do an ECG which went crazy. They went to everyone near me and told them to turn their mobiles off, but no it was still going crazy.

My heartbeat was up to 220 laying on a bed. Straight away they started taking all that fluid they had given me. My EF was 12 which meant nothing to me at the time.

After lots of tests and questions about my family medical history the diagnoses was viral cardiomyopathy which I knew nothing about, but was soon to learn everything from experience.

For many years I lived a reasonably normal life, until 2014, when we moved to Darwin. I started having trouble breathing. Instead of getting this checked, I believed it was from the humidity.

I was feeling pretty crap so I went to the Dr who I never mentioned the breathing to, but I was then told I had Ross River Virus for many months. I dealt with that and the breathing until I got the flu, which passed pretty easily. I had this terrible cough that stayed for months, so off to the Dr I trot. She sent me to have an x-ray. So now I had pneumonia, just great! She sent a fax to my cardiologist. who I saw and he sent me to Adelaide for an MRI.

The health system here isn't the best and I waited 6 months to find out the results.

On the 21 November 2016, I saw Dr Marcus Ilton who explained everything to me, telling me I needed this ICD and how it would work etc. My partner and I got to ask lots of questions and he showed us videos of how it all worked. He got on his phone and I was booked in 1 week later to have it done. He gave me this week to decline the offer if I wanted. I overheard the Dr tell the receptionist he wasn't happy how long I'd waited to see him after the MRI.

So the 28 November was here. I was so nervous but excited. It was going ahead. The staff and Dr were fantastic, trying to make me feel at ease. Near the end of the procedure, all of a sudden, I could breathe heaps better, I told the Dr and he replied, we have just turned the ICD on.The procedure took around 3 hours. Laying still for this long was killing me but a small price to pay.

That night I stayed in hospital. I so wanted to get up.

The next day I was up, showered and walking laps around the ward. Staff kept telling me to take it easy but I just couldn't. That day, was the day I made a promise to myself to look after this body from now on, this was my last chance of having any kind of life and I wasn't going to waste it. I was going to lose weight and finally get married. I wanted to wait till I could look nice. I had 40 kg to shift so healthy eating was my plan and finally some exercise The 1st day at home I slept, but the next day I decided I wanted to go for a walk. So off my partner and I go. He was amazed. He couldn't keep up to me. That day I walked 3 km without stopping for a breath. It was a miracle. I was so excited!!!

On 1st September I had my 2nd appointment with the cardiologist since having the procedure. He told me my EF was 45 and that I had far exceeded their expectations. I had the most dramatic improvements of anyone they had seen with this device.

Dr Marcus Ilton is my hero and this device is the best thing that could've happened to my sick tired body. I now have 18 kgs to lose. I owe this device my life!!!!

I wish everyone could get the same results because honestly. I am a different person.

Postal address: PO Box 2006, Surrey Hills,
Victoria 3127, Australia

36 091 171 470