Amber Ward's Story
In 2007, I was four months pregnant with my first child when I noticed severe chest pain and that my heart was beating funny. I informed my OB/GYN at the time about my symptoms, and he simply said I was too young to be having a medical emergency and that I was a hypochondriac. From there, I went week by week feeling very ill toward the end of my pregnancy.
Someone had referred me to see Dr. Reed Riley who is a cardiologist at GBMC. I was relieved when Dr. Riley took my symptoms seriously and hooked me up to the heart monitor during an exam. Later that night, he called me on his personal cell phone to tell me to get to the hospital as soon as possible. I was admitted that night, and the next day my heart rate went to 220 beats per minute.
They discovered I had a condition called AV node reentry tachycardia. I was rushed to the Hopkins high risk unit to carry out the rest of my treatment until I delivered. Although my baby boy spent a few nights in the NICU, he was born healthy.
My son and I would not be here today if it wasn't for Dr. Riley and the cardiology staff at GBMC. I have so much gratitude every day for the doctors and staff at GBMC. There's not a day that goes by that I don't look back on what a devastating outcome that could have been for both me and my son.
Since December of 2007, I have been able to be here to see my only child grow into a smart, wonderful first grader. I may never have the opportunity to have any more kids because of my cardiac problems, but I have my boy thanks to the hard working staff at GBMC.