Escalating Quickly

I was about 5½ months pregnant when I noticed that I was having difficulty breathing and lying down flat at the same time. That was the first time that I noticed that something wasn’t right. I did speak to my doctor, and he just said, that's just a normal pregnancy symptom. In the weeks following the ultrasound, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Around 6½ months, they were looking for breathing patterns in the baby, and she wouldn’t practice breathing for anything. They were planning to deliver me early because they could tell something wasn’t right, but they still didn’t know at the time what was going on. After she was born [via C-section], that’s when things started to escalate. From my waist down to my ankles was very swollen. I was getting more swollen and never been this swollen before in my life.

Two weeks after birth, I was at home with my baby and 10-year-old daughter, when I could not go two feet in front of me without being able to breathe. At the hospital, I learned that I had Peri Partum Cardiomyopathy. My doctor recommended a LifeVest. The LifeVest continuously monitors the patient’s heart and, if a life-threatening heart rhythm is detected, the device delivers a treatment shock to restore normal heart rhythm. On July 18, I went into sudden cardiac arrest, and the LifeVest revived me. I am so grateful to the LifeVest. I can’t even put into words how grateful.  Everything escalated so quickly. Without the LifeVest, I would not be here because there would have been nothing to bring my heart rhythm back to normal. I now have an implantable defibrillator that monitors my heart 24/7.  This is something all women should be aware of, though they are calling it rare

. I never knew I was at risk for cardiac arrest brought on by pregnancy if it wouldn't have happened to me.  I now share my story with others and have partnered with a few organizations to help spread the word.

Bobbi Leverette lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two daughters. She has worked in Law Enforcement since 2006.

#BlackMaternalHealthWeek #bmhw20 #BlackMamasMatter

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