When you are pregnant, you evolve in many incredible and necessary ways. Your body expands but so does your heart’s capacity to love. Odion Aburime had navigated these changes once before and she was excited to welcome her second child to the world, introducing it to family get-togethers full of games, sing-alongs and movie nights. However, a simple load of laundry caused her heart to race to such an extent that the soon-to-be mom had to lay on the floor to avoid passing out.
Recognizing the pounding in her chest as a palpitation and afraid for the life of her baby, Odion went to her local emergency room.
“After a few tests, I could tell that the doctors and nurses were worried,” Odion says. “They remained calm, but because I was pregnant, they took my concerns very seriously.” I was then referred to the Owen sound hospital for more tests and checks.
After her heart monitor recorded several palpitations in the hospital, she was referred to London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) cardiology department to see Dr. Samuel Siu, who specializes in maternal cardiac health.
“He was incredible. He stayed with me for over an hour and really tried to understand how my symptoms were affecting me. I remember thinking how calm he was. I was amazed by the level of personalized care I was given, especially during COVID, when I knew hospitals were totally overwhelmed.”
With Odion being only 30 years old and otherwise healthy, Dr. Siu was determined to figure out the cause of these phantom symptoms. Having received the bloodwork from her initial visit to the ER, the award-winning cardiologist was not satisfied with leaving any stone unturned. To learn whether her heart palpitations were a symptom of her pregnancy, or something more sinister, he booked Odion for another full exam and blood panel.
Both doctor and patient worried about recurrent heart issues and the risks they may pose to mom and baby. From a fall caused by fainting toalternations in blood flow through the placenta, it was essential for Dr. Siu to choose a treatment that would be most effective for Odion while also protecting the child inside her. Informed by her echocardiogram, heart monitor and bloodwork, Dr. Siu prescribed Odion the appropriate medication.
“At my follow-up appointment, I was so excited to tell Dr. Siu my palpitations had stopped right after I began following his treatment plan,” Odion says. “He shared in my relief, but also offered to continue supporting me throughout my pregnancy. He made himself available at any time, giving me his card and contact details. This helped reduce my fears about giving birth to an at-risk baby.”
Months later, after welcoming her beautiful baby girl, Kamari, the only symptom Odion is dealing with is a lack of sleep, but that has nothing to do with her heart. Delighted at the wonderful new addition to their family, the Aburime’s are thankful for the care Odion received at LHSC. With this now behind them, they can once again focus on staying happy, healthy and all the other activities they consider essential in their family care plan.
“Before this, I was completely unfamiliar with the process of receiving that type of specialized care in London,” Odion says. “By sharing my story, I want other women to know there’s an incredible level of support available to them at LHSC, should they ever need it.”
When you support cardiac care at London Health Sciences Centre, you are helping people like Odion enjoy all the special moments with the ones they love. Your compassion generates strength.