Customer story: Gerda
In the segment Customer Story we will share the experiences and stories of our customers. This first blog is about Gerda, a 58-year old working mom of two grown up daughters and carrier of an CRT-D. Nowadays she is committed to helping other women who also had a heart attack. We asked her a few questions.
How long have you been a device carrier?
I have had my CRT-D since January 2019 after having a heart attack in 2013 and another one in 2017.
In what way did receiving the CRT-D have an influence on your life?
The moment my cardiologist told me that due to changed standards I was eligible for an ICD, back in fall 2018, I was already focused on AED’s (automated external defibrillators) and knew exactly where to find them. The knowledge that I could have a arrhythmia that could possibly make my heart stop really hit me hard.
The night before receiving my ICD I was told that a third wire would be added to ensure the damaged part of my heart would move correctly in time with the other side. I really had no time to think about the news and let it sink in.
Did much change now that you have the CRT-D?
The positive thing about my CRT-D is of course that my heart rhythm and heart function have improved. It did take some awareness that I have something in my body that supports my heart. I sometimes joke around with the term ‘bionic woman’ since I literally can’t just ‘drop dead’. Mortality in general really was a theme that I become more conscious of.
In the beginning I of course couldn’t drive my car and I was limited in my movements due to the healing of the wound. Now I’m still a bit limited since the device is located on my left chest muscle.
We are speaking to you as you are a customer of Vital Beat. How did you find us?
I met Hilke (owner of Vital Beat) at a meeting where we were both present as entrepreneurs. When she told me about what Vital Beat did I was very intrigued. I love hiking, but wearing a backpack was quite uncomfortable because of my device. I had made some make-shift solutions in the past, for example with a small towel, but nothing really worked. The materials Vital Beat uses are a way better solution.
What would you like to say to other device carriers?
If you are anxious to do what you would normally love to do, Vital Beat offers a really nice solution. Mainly regarding safety for example for mountain bikers and cyclists when they fall, but also regarding comfort like in my case with a backpack. This will enable you to do what you always liked to do and you won’t have to let your device limit you.
Gerda turned her experiences into a career. Through her coaching company she helps women who just like her suffered from a heart attack. Want to read more or get in contact with Gerda? Check out https://www.jebentmeerdanwatjehebt.nl/ (Dutch spoken only)