We can’t predict when the next arrhythmia will happen. It could be when I walk out of the room, or it might never happen - Dr. Daniel Kramer


image by: Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

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Living With Invisible Illness

Jackie Todd is 27 years old, with sly eyes, a laugh that seems to come from deep in her belly, and thick, dirty-blond hair that she dyes a fiery copper hue. She also has a small computer inside of her chest. It’s constantly collecting information; it’s a diary of dates, times, and events. In a sense, Jackie’s whole life is archived in a code that she can’t interpret. She jokes that she’s part cyborg, but it’s not entirely a gag: a $50,000 machine is keeping her alive. “This device will do everything it can to prevent my heart from stopping,” she says.

The first time Jackie’s implanted defibrillator shocked her heart back into a regular rhythm, she had been sprinting across her high-school…

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Last Updated : Wednesday, November 25, 2020