As a geriatric nurse, Lola Brown was no stranger to caring for those with serious health conditions. But her own health issues took her by surprise.
"I was short of breath and tired. I thought I was just overweight and overworked," she says.
In 2014, Lola went to her doctor. She was tired and not sleeping well. Her doctor performed several heart tests and discovered her ejection fraction – a measure of how well the heart is working – was 10-15%. A normal ejection fraction is 55-65%.
"I didn't realize that my heart was sick," she says.
Brown was experiencing advanced heart failure, a condition that occurs when the heart doesn't pump blood to the body the way it should. She had a pacemaker implanted, and later, a pacemaker defibrillator. But neither treated the underlying cause of her condition.