CVC hosts Mother’s Day program to honor PPCM survivors and their families
On Saturday, May 4, Melinda Davis, M.D., and the Frankel Cardiovascular Center hosted a Mother’s Day program for all peripartum cardiomyopathy survivors and their families.
As part of the program, Davis presented up-to-date information and education about PPCM, emerging research, and answered questions and concerns. The family-friendly event also allowed attendees the rare opportunity to connect with others living with the condition.
Peripartum cardiomyopathy, also known as postpartum cardiomyopathy, is an uncommon form of heart failure that develops toward the end of pregnancy or within several months of giving birth. Cardiomyopathy refers to a weakening of the heart muscle.
The heart chambers may enlarge and there is a decrease in the percentage of blood ejected from the heart with each contraction (also called the ejection fraction). This can lead to a backup of fluid in the lungs (causing shortness of breath) or legs (causing swelling).
In severe situations, the heart may not be able to meet the demands of the body’s organs for oxygen, affecting the lungs, liver and other body systems. PPCM is rare overall. About 1,000 to 1,300 women develop the condition in the U.S. each year.
Many of the attendees at the event had never met another woman with the condition, giving them a unique opportunity for camaraderie and support. It was also a special time for Davis to connect with her patients outside of the clinical setting.
“After the event, a child came up to me and hugged me and said, ‘Thank you, Dr. Davis, for taking care of my mommy,’” Davis said. “My eyes filled with tears and I realized this was the best moment of my life/career, and it’s why I do this work.”
One of Davis’s patient’s shared her experience with PPCM in April, it can be found here.