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Stories from the ARVD/ARVC Community

Meet Malcolm

I was first diagnosed with ARVD in 2004, at age 50, after experiencing ventricular tachycardia after a cardiac arrest.  I was put on medication and advised to get an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).  In an effort to avoid an ICD, I had an ablation that, although not fully successful, lessened the rate of tachycardia.  Against the advice of my cardiologists, I postponed getting an ICD for almost a year, during which I had bouts of tachycardia that become increasingly frequent.  When I finally got my ICD, I was able to take a stronger medication and my symptoms have almost entirely disappeared.

With the ICD and appropriate medication, I have been able to live a normal life.  I am still working (desk work).  I get some physical activity as my wife and I have continued to dance–ballroom, square dancing, contra dancing, and Scottish country dancing.  We also do a lot of vegetable gardening and yard work.  In order to keep my heart rate down when doing physical activity I stay trim and avoid exertion during hot weather.

I have been paced out of ventricular tachycardia a number of times, but have never been shocked.  My condition does not seem to be getting worse over time.  I recently had a second ICD installed because the battery had worn down on the first one.

I’m very grateful for modern medical technology, for talented doctors, nurses, staff, and for a praying wife.