A North Carolina man is suffering from a heart condition that made him forget his wife is nine months pregnant. John Lancaster thought that he was having a hard case of the cold, instead he found out he has a heart condition.
His heart condition is giving him memory problems. Lancaster also missed the birth of his child due to the hospitalization.
Lancaster says that his memory has been affected the last few weeks since he was diagnosed with the heart condition. His only memories of recent events include being sick, going to the hospital, and then waking up in a hospital bed in Virginia. He has no memory of his wife being pregnant.
Lancaster's wife, Erica Lancaster, had to give birth without him. He was moved from the hospital in Elizabeth City, North Carolina to the Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. Unable to breathe, his wife recommended that he be moved to the new facility.
At the Sentara Heart Hospital, doctors found out that a heart condition was impacting the functioning of his lungs. In order to keep his lungs functioning, the doctors had to install an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) device, which provides support for people whose cardiac and respiratory system are not working adequately to sustain life.
Lancaster was then put into a medically-induced coma for 18 days. Doctors were able to diagnose Lancaster with Left Ventricular Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy (LVNC).
On Jan. 24 while Lancaster was undergoing surgery for his condition, his wife gave birth to their daughter.
Left Ventricular Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy
LVNC is when the left ventricle has pieces of muscle that go into the chamber. Those pieces of muscle are called trabeculations. Normally trabeculations compact and transform muscle in the heart from spongy to solid. LVNC happens when the compaction doesn't occur. Trabeculations for this condition are found at the bottom of the heart.
This condition, which is genetic, can be found among people of any age. When people are diagnosed, there is a 20 to 40 percent chance that an underlying genetic cause can be found. Because of the genetic cause of the condition, it's possible that other family members may have LVNC.
People with LVNC have a low chance of suffering from sudden cardiac arrest but there are some that have a high chance of suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. Many people with a higher chance of cardiac arrest often choose to get an implantable defibrillator along with a pacemaker.