Melissa Cappuccilli

An irregular,  fast heartbeat back in 1999 was the first indication a 37-year-old Navy nurse might have a problem. At the time, Melissa Cappuccilli was an active, single mom (her youngest child was only three).  She had been a nurse for 10 years and had no family heart history.  She hardly seemed a likely candidate to be a heart problems.

After a number of tests, Melissa learned she had ARVD. She has no idea what caused it. Treatment included medication and an automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator (AICD). This device monitors the heart’s rhythm and delivers an electrical shock to the heart to return it to the normal rhythm if necessary. Melissa went through five AICDs.

Finally two years ago she went in to chronic heart failure and could barely walk. On Nov. 13, 2013, Melissa received a life-saving heart transplant. She continues to amaze everyone with her progress.  She still wears a facemask in public to avoid germs, but she has returned to work half-time as a referral nurse in the new hospital at Camp Pendleton.

She will be forever grateful to her donor.  Please consider signing up below to be a donor and make a difference in someone else’s life.

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