TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – Melissa Voetsch, member of the WTOL 11 Your Morning team, has been on medical leave for a few weeks after a terrifying health condition.
While she may seem in a good mood now, that wasn't the case on morning in mid-October.
While trying to get ready for work one morning, Melissa began to have trouble breathing.
She was immediately rushed to the hospital, and doesn't remember much after that.
Doctor Ameer Kabour, Melissa's cardiologist, believes that she suffered from an infection that affected her heart muscle so severely that it was only functioning at 15-20% of a normal heart.
"This is a main diagnosis seen in about...probably about 1 to 2 percent of the population only when they have this issue. So it's not a very common disease." explains Kabour.
The infection, called a Myocarditus, could have been caused by the lengthy bout of pneumonia Melissa suffered from this summer.
She was put on a ventilator and kept in the ICU for days. Her heart muscle had weakened, and one of the valves was still leaking.
After checking her heart through an eco-cardiogram, Dr. Kabour delivered the results. He explained that the front part and latter portions are still not functioning as well as they would like to see, but they do expect it to get better.
Melissa currently wears an external defibrillator, and it will shock her heart if it goes into a critical stage again.
From now on, Melissa's lifestyle will adapt to more exercise, a better diet, and higher doses of medication in order to help her condition.
Melissa is determined to get better, follow her doctor's orders, and approach life a bit differently:
"Three kids, working full-time, early morning hours, special needs child...You're almost always in overdrive... Especially with my son who has Autism. You just always want to be there for them. You have to take care of yourself first. You can't just blow it off"
She is thankful for having so many great people in her life, such as the doctors, EMTs, nurses and so many other who have helped her along this journey.
She also appreciates the support from viewers through emails. Facebook, phone calls and visits.
She wants everyone to be aware that her symptoms were pretty general: feeling tired and worn down until the end, when she had difficulty breathing.
Copyright 2011 WTOL. All rights reserved.
730 North Summit Street