How My Cardiomyopathy Diagnosis Led Me to Music
After receiving a diagnosis of restrictive cardiomyopathy in 2010, I had to stop playing sports all together. At 17-years-old, this was a pretty big lifestyle change for me, and I needed an outlet. So I turned to music.
I began singing in show choirs, learned how to play guitar, started performing with a group of friends at local churches and county fairs, and even played the role of Maria in my high school’s production of The Sound of Music.
Before My Heart Transplant
When I started school at Bowling Green State University, life got really busy. But, I was determined to live a fairly normal life, participating in campus activities, and enjoying the many opportunities to meet new friends at school. At the same time, I was combating a slow fight with heart failure, so there wasn’t much time for music.
That December, we determined with guidance from my doctors in the cardiomyopathy program that it was time for me to list for a heart transplant. In just four months, I received the call that a heart was available. I rushed to Cincinnati Children’s and hours later received the gift of a new heart and a new life.
After My Heart Transplant
The months I spent recovering in the hospital were long and hard, but my amazing team of doctors and nurses, my family, and my friends kept me motivated and positive throughout the healing process.
The music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s provided the outlet for me to do what I love and played a huge part in keeping my spirits up during my recovery.
I remember the first time I sang after my transplant; it was a defining moment. My family and I knew I was well on my way to recovering and living a life that was even better than before. It was an emotional experience and one of my favorite memories from my time in the hospital.
Amazingly, by the end of August I was doing much better and was able to leave Cincinnati Children’s and return to BGSU by the first day of classes.
Seacrest Studios Was My Victory Lap
A few weeks later, my music therapist Kathryn Yeager and station manager Zach Wells asked me to participate in a promotional video for the Seacrest Studio. After I sang for them, we joked about me singing for Ryan Seacrest when he came. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would become a reality! I was actually so excited that I had to push it to the back of my mind so that I could stay focused on school.
When the day arrived, I performed live on WKID33 in front on Ryan Seacrest, Jason Derulo, and Drew Lachey. It was such a thrill and I was honestly a little star struck when Ryan Seacrest greeted me with, “Hi Liz!”
The entire experience was pure fun for me, and believe it or not, I wasn’t that nervous to sing. I always joke that the Lord must have known what was coming in my life, and was gracious in not giving me many nerves.
I chose to sing Timshel by Mumford & Sons because I love the message of the song and I thought it was fitting for the event. “You are not alone in this, as brothers we will stand and will hold your hand.” That is what I hope the patients will feel while watching or participating in WKID33. I hope it reminds them that they aren’t alone in their journey, no matter how hard or long it might be.