Clovis woman thought she was dealing with pregnancy pains but instead she was in need of a new heart

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29-Year-old Alyse Ornelas learned she had a rare heart disease and doctors are searching for the answer to saving her life. (KFSN)

29-Year-old Alyse Ornelas thought she was dealing with pregnancy pains when she went to the hospital and learned she instead was in need of a new heart.

Alyse went to the ER after dealing with symptoms she and other doctors related to her pregnancy but instead learned she had a rare heart disorder. Doctors are now searching for the answer to saving her life.

After being hospitalized in late September at 6 months pregnant for symptoms of chest pains, body aches and shortness of breath, 29-year-old Alyse Ornelas lost her unborn son and almost her life.

Ornelas was flown to Stanford Medical Center where she was diagnosed with a rare devastating disease she describes as a deteriorating heart--giant cell myocarditis. And on Friday she has learned her kidneys are failing.

"My whole life has changed, and I'm just hoping that this is truly a second chance at life."

Ornelas is a wife, mother of a two-year-old daughter, and a Fresno Unified teacher. She is on short-term disability now as her and her family deal with the prognosis.

Tuesday she will be going back to Stanford, she says her doctor told her to pack a bag and be prepared to stay for awhile.

Ornelas says if they find her heart is worsening shell need an LVAD, a device which helps your heart to pump enough blood while waiting for a heart transplant.

The surgery would also push her closer to the top of the transplant list, and a donor. But then she will be faced with another challenge, she says with a number of high antibodies and her blood type, her body will attack a new organ.

"To quote my doctor there's one percent chance or a miracle of getting a heart," Ornelas said.

One thing she says she is not doing is dwelling on her circumstances, Ornelas says she's going to keep pushing forward with the support of her family. And while she does not have many answers now, she is just enjoying each and every day.

"My adult life is just starting with my husband and my kid and I hope I get to keep playing out that role."

Alyse has a very contagious positive attitude and it was certainly inspiring to meet her and her family tonight. To help her family with medical expenses, one of Alyse's friends has started a campaign on a fundraising site which you can find here.

Related Topics:
heart transplantFresno County
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