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It was determined that I had multiple herniated discs in my lower back and that I needed to have surgery, and soon, or else I could suffer irreversible nerve damage. Surgery was not very amusing, it was a very painful recovery, but aſter years of having nothing helping me I felt like I was finally going to be on the up and up. I was for a litle while, holding an easy job and working through physical therapy, my limp disappeared and I was finally feeling like my normal self again. But “Winter is Coming”.

In March 2010 I was working in a kindergarten program as an aide in the classroom, we had a tough class. My pain level was way down and I was starting to feel good again, but life really has a way of hiting you with a car or something like that. Aſter work one day I went to my doctor and told her that I had a bit of a cough and was just not feeling well; you know what she tells me? She told me that I needed to head to the hospital immediately because my vital stats were out of control. Aſter rushing to the hospital and having more tests done it was finally determined that my heart was functioning at 15% and that I had cardiomyopathy, the only words that I heard was Heart Failure. Needless to say it took me a few minutes to actually process what I had just learned. I don’t know too much about anatomy, but what I did know is that heart failure sounds prety serious, and as I would find out I was not prepared for what was to come. I wasn’t able to return to work and my health began to rapidly decline, spending most days in bed all day due to lack of energy, that’s what happens when your heart does not pump enough blood efficiently.

At this point I started amassing a pharmacy size stash of heart medications that have become part of my daily routines. A 26 year old should not have to wake up every morning and take a fist full of pills. Tere was also a concern that I had a chance of suddenly dropping dead, as if things weren’t scary enough already. My doctor suggested that I get an ICD (implantable cardiac defibrillator), in the event that my heart decided to take an extended break from functioning. So a few months later I ended up geting this alien looking device inserted inside my chest, I call it my “1UP mushroom”, like the ones from any Super Mario Bros. video game.

Now aſter going through all of that I can tell you that my worst symptom was not a physical one. My views on life were skewed and my future was looking prety bleak for a long time. For some reason people do not deal well with people being sick, so I ended up spending a lot of time lying in bed incredibly lonely, waiting for something to give, but the world doesn’t work like that. It took a long time for me to come to terms with my situation, my head was suffering the most damage at this point, not physically of course, but mentally. Until one day I decided that I was the only person that could help myself. I started by going to cardio rehab, which led to going to a gym and geting a personal trainer, as well as doing Karate, has all helped me regain some semblance of my old life back.

e Today I am down 46 pounds since my accident, but I still have October 2012 19

a long way to go. I am happy to say that aſter losing all hope and not having any goals, I finally see a future for myself. My journey begins with LIVING.WELL MAGAZINE joining forces with Te Biggest Loser Resort, and on September 30th, 2012, I will be on my way to Te Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu, California. Te goal: the team at the Biggest Loser Resort will develop a personalized wellness program that includes fitness, nutrition, and education tailored to my own personal needs, with consideration given to my heart failure, my lifestyle as a result of having heart failure and my personal capabilities, and even more importantly the camaraderie of fellow guests. I won’t be alone. I can’t fail with so many people involved in the process, trainers, nutritionists, and other professionals motivating and teaching me how to be successful in geting the rest of my weight off and returning to the care free, happy, and healthier person I once was.

LWM readers, I’m taking you with me too. I will be documenting my journey through articles, Facebook, Twiter, images, videos, and other media resources. Since the auto accident and the diagnosis of heart failure, I have had litle reason to feel inspired by much of anything, at times; it seemed hard enough just finding the will to wake up every day. Now I am looking forward to something, something life changing, Te Biggest Loser Resort and me! I am ready for the next half a decade of my life to be a good one and not the nightmarish one that I will happily leave behind. Now I can play a part in the future of my health, giving me the chance to either get my heart into beter shape and possibly even pumping normally or lose enough weight to become eligible for a heart transplant if needed in the future. At my current weight, if my heart stopped functioning altogether, it would be almost impossible to find a match for an appropriate size heart for a person such as myself.

Since being in my accident I have not been able to find any inspiration, it was hard enough finding the will to live, but for the first time in a long time I have found some inspiration, and that inspiration is me. I am ready for the next half a decade of my life to be a good one and not the nightmarish one that I have been through. My life is finally full of possibilities and I am ready!

Please join my journey with daily updates and progress reports. Feel free to send positive thoughts and energy my way on my blog and or Facebook. You can also watch for future stories about my journey in upcoming issues of LWM. My life is finally full of possibilities and I am ready! So who’s coming with me?

Go to for links to the upcoming blog. My personal e-mail is Visit Te Biggest Loser Resort:

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