Minneapolis woman going through heart failure talks about ordeal, support from family and friends
In her mind, Heather Peterson can still hit the road and run 5 to 6 miles a day without a problem.
It’s her body that’s preventing that from happening.
Peterson, 31, of Minneapolis, formerly of North Branch, was 26 years old when she first found out something wasn’t quite right with her heart.
“I was out for a jog, and all of a sudden my heart was just pounding out of my chest, and I couldn’t get it to slow down, even at rest,” she said.
Peterson is an administrative assistant in the pediatric sleep center and infant apnea program at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in St. Paul, and she’s been friends since high school with Megan Anderson, an echo tech, who also works for Children’s.
“She told me to go in and get it checked out because that just didn’t seem right, so I did, and lo and behold, good thing she told me that,” Peterson said.
To determine what was going on with her heart, she set up an appointment to have a stress test done.
“I was on the treadmill, and I went into my rhythm. … There were two techs in there,” Peterson remembered. “One just shot out of the room. The other one was just standing there, staring at me. I just remember saying, ‘What’s happening? What is this?’ She’s like, ‘Well, let me just say you shouldn’t be standing here talking to me right now. You should be going into cardiac arrest.’”
Peterson said it was difficult for doctors to determine exactly what is wrong with her heart, but they did settle on a diagnosis: sarcoid cardiomyopathy.