The Dutch Patricia Vlasman (b. 1971) has been leading her life with a heart condition since birth: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She is strongly advised against pregnancy and always takes oral contraception, but suddenly finds herself pregnant. She and her husband take the difficult and risky decision to keep their baby.
Patricia gives birth to a wonderful son whilst having three cardiac arrests. Soon thereafter she suffers serious arrhythmias and can no longer work. She is being pingponged between endless cardiologists and various hospitals.
When Dutch cardiologists finally say that they have little left to offer her, the only option is to ask for a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic in the US.
A fundraising concert with well-known artists enables Patricia to find the means to pay for the high fees at the Mayo Clinic. In the US she receives some recommendations for treatment that can buy her more time.
Back in the Netherlands Patricia tries to be a mainstream mother in between checkups and hospital admissions, but her life is not at all normal – every hiccup leads to looming arrhythmias.
Open-hearted – My Life with Cardiomyopathy and heart failure is not only recommended reading for heart patients and their family and friends, but for any body who wants to get inspired by someone with an extraordinary fighting spirit, and a never ending optimism – against all odds.
About Patricia Vlasman
Patricia Vlasman (b. 1971) read social studies and political sciences at the University of Amsterdam. She had a job at the Dutch Ministry of Justice but her worsening heart condition ended her career.
She now spends her life as a novelist and she coaches people with cardiac diseases. In 2010 her first novel appeared: Loneliness prevailing.
In Open-hearted – My life with cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure, Patricia Vlasman relates her daily struggle as a patient. A moving, raw and brave story. She swiftly draws you into her life and shows all sides of her hampering but loving heart.