One Patient’s Experience with Arrhythmia

Many patients with CHD also have arrhythmias, sometimes as a consequence of intervention. Rosalie was born with an AVSD and had surgery as a child, but it wasn’t until her teens that her arrhythmia emerged. In this week’s blog she shares her story with us.

Everyone has a story to tell. With CHD, sometimes there are holes, valves do not click right, and what can be even more dangerous is the heart itself beating a little differently than most. I am one that lives with all three of these.

I was born with Complete Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD) and developed an arrhythmia when I hit my teens. An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat, either too fast or too slow. If the heart rhythm is too slow it is called Bradycardia. When the rhythm is too fast, it is called Tachycardia, which is what I have. 

It was my second year of High School, I went to lift up my arm and passed out! I woke up in a car heading to my parents place. I was then taken to the emergency room. I do not remember much after that. Some of my heart friends say that they can feel an arrhythmia when it comes, but I never felt my heart race before blacking out.

Arrhythmias can come from the top or bottom of the heart. Those that come from the bottom of the heart can be quite dangerous. But have no fear, there is technology and medication that can help. 

There are pacemakers, defibrillators, or a combination device that is both, called an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). This is the device I have. I received my first ICD at 13, after going into cardiac arrest. I have had four devices in ten years, and have been shocked too many times to count. The fact that I am here tells me a greater power is in charge for sure! 

If you’re living with an arrhythmia, young or old, you are not alone. Meeting others like you, attending education events at your center, or getting involved in the CHD community are great ways to help patients and families adjust to life with an arrhythmia diagnosis.

Rosalie was born with complete AVSD. Her CHD was discovered when she was six months old, she had surgery at eight months old. She is now almost 27 years old and loves writing, drawing, coloring, baking, and trying new things. The best part of each day though is when her husband comes home from work. They just celebrated their first wedding anniversary, but sadly recently experience a miscarriage.  Rosalie has a younger brother and sister and an Emotional Support Animal named Riley.  As for her heart, Rosalie is in the process of getting listed for transplant. 

Find Rosalie on social Media for more of her story and follow her heart journey!

Facebook page @rrchdjourney  Instagram page @rrchdjourney Website:

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