Danielle Montagne of Liverpool experienced countless fainting spells as a teenager and for years doctors didn't understand why. After numerous tests, doctors installed a pacemaker when she was only 19-years-old. Montagne is the youngest patient at Crouse Hospital to ever have a pacemaker installed.
"When people find out I have a pacemaker they're shocked because they associate it with someone who is older or someone with severe health problems," says Montagne.
Since the surgery, she has lived her life to the fullest, traveling around the world, marrying the love of her life and becoming a mother to her stepdaughter, Tatianna.
"Since the pacemaker has been implanted my quality of life has improved. I haven't had the episodes of passing out. I feel a lot better for the most part and my doctors here in Syracuse are wonderful. They've been with me every step of the way," says Montagne.
After getting the approval of her longtime doctor, James Longo, the Chief of the Cardiac Care Unit at Crouse Hospital, she got pregnant, but soon ran into a small hiccup. The battery on her pacemaker needs to be changed.
"The changing of the battery is inevitable. It lasts about 10 years give or take in the average individual. Just so happens, it's happening right in the middle of the pregnancy," says Dr. Longo.
Dr. Longo says the procedure is rare but essentially harmless.
"There's no radiation involved, there's no general anesthetic involved. It's a local anesthetic. So she should really have no difficulty whatsoever with the procedure, but it was a bit surprising that it had to happen right at this time," says Dr. Longo.
With a baby growing inside her, Montagne is a little nervous about her surgery, but she has complete faith in her doctors and knows it will just be another story to tell.
"I'll always remember that when I was pregnant with him or her that I had to have this surgery and it was one more hurdle to get over but I think it's going to be a positive story in the end," says Montagne.
A life story full of surprises
with more in store
as she waits to see whether the life growing inside her is a little boy or girl.