Amelia's Medical Fund to fight POTS
Organized by: Missy Buss
Amelia is a kind, wonderful 14 year old girl who is very high achieving. In March 2015, she was on her 8th grade field trip to Washington DC when she collapsed in the Library of Congress. Amelia's trip was cut short and she returned home. Amelia continued to have "fainting" spells and was unable to return to school. After numerous trips to the ER and after several visits to various medical specialists, Amelia was diagnosed with POTS. POTS stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. POTS is one of many different disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System. The Autonomic Nervous System controls important things like your heart rate, breathing, maintaining proper blood pressure, digestion, sleep cycles, body temperature, and more. In POTS, the dysfunction involves the messages that nerves deliver to blood vessels, telling them when to expand and contract. When you stand up after lying down, blood vessels are supposed to contract so that more blood is pumped to your head. But with POTS, blood vessels are too dilated, and the blood pools in the lower part of the body. When you stand up, not enough blood gets to the brain, leaving one dizzy and lightheaded. This causes the heart to race, a condition called tachycardia, as it tries to get more blood to the head. As a result, these people cannot tolerate being upright. Those at greater risk of the disorder are high-achieving teenagers or adolescents as they enter a growth spurt and it is more common in girls. Usually an illness, like the flu or mono, precedes the condition. Amelia had a very bad flu prior to her trip to Washington DC. Amelia can no longer tolerate being upright in order to attend school. She is no longer able to play the piano, something she is passionate about. She often feels her heart racing and has difficulty focusing or concentrating for more than 5 or 10 minutes. She requires a caregiver to help her with her daily needs, including dietary protocols and various therapies to help with her recovery. Money raised for Amelia will go to alternative medical therapies, such as acupuncture, and for directed exercise and dietary protocols. It will also help with mounting medical bills and allow her to see cardiologists and neurologists who specialize in POTS.