Finding answers with the Reveal LINQ™ ICM System


On a February morning in 2015, Kymberli, the busy mother of four young children, was preparing for her triplets' first birthday party. Suddenly, she felt queasy, confused, and clammy. She passed out before she could say anything. Her husband Chris called 911.

"When I came to, I could hear my four-year-old, Luca, hysterically crying and screaming, 'Is mommy dead?'" Kymberli recalls. "I started to cry. I was terrified."

Kymberli was taken by ambulance to the emergency room. After a CT scan and a 2D echo, she was discharged. She was sent to a cardiologist where she was given a 30-day event monitor. At the end of the 30 days, the event monitor showed nothing of concern related to her heart. The doctors thought it was possible that stress, dehydration, or lack of sleep had triggered the event.

Kymberli wasn't convinced. "I was scared and angry," she said. "I'm the caretaker of our four young children. I was afraid it would happen again and my kids would be in danger. I was determined to find out the reason for my fainting episode."

Kymberli performed online research and decided to make an appointment with an electrophysiologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms. He ordered a cardiac MRI and a stress test and told her to come back in eight weeks.

"During this time I monitored my heart closely," she says. "Sometimes, I had feelings similar to the symptoms I had that morning in February. My heart rate rapidly increased, I felt flushed and my blood pressure dropped. As long as I could sit down immediately, I could prevent fainting."

At her next appointment she learned her tests were normal. Aside from a low heart rate and the hypotension she'd had her entire life, Kymberli appeared healthy. But she continued to worry — concerned for her children and what might happen if she fainted while alone with them. Therefore, she quickly agreed when her doctor suggested a Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM), designed for people who experience infrequent, unexplained fainting.

The Reveal LINQ ICM was placed in June 2015 and the following November Kymberli experienced the event she had feared. Even though she suspected she might have the stomach flu, she was scheduled to be home alone for the entire day with her children. Feeling exhausted and weak, she lay on the floor while the children played.

"When I sat up, I knew something was off," she said. "I told Luca to call 911. That's all I could say before I blacked out."

When Kymberli came to, Luca was standing over her. He hadn't called 911. "I told him to call daddy right away." Chris came home from work to take care of Kymberli and the kids. While they were sure Kymberli was fighting a stomach bug, it turned out to be far more serious.

The data from Kymberli's Reveal LINQ device was transmitted to her doctor's office. Just minutes after receiving it, they contacted Kymberli and told her to call 911. "The Reveal LINQ data showed my heart had stopped for 19 seconds. I needed to go to the hospital."

At the hospital, Kymberli learned that she had gone into asystole cardiac arrest. After the 19-second pause, her heart had started again without an intervention. "There's no medical explanation for my heart restarting."

Kymberli was diagnosed with malignant vasovagal syncope and sick sinus syndrome, a heart rhythm problem that occurs when the heart's natural pacemaker doesn't work properly in response to physiologic conditions. At the hospital, a pacemaker was implanted to regulate Kymberli's heart.

Kymberli Reveal LINQ Patient Image

"The Reveal LINQ is the reason I'm here today," says Kymberli. "Without it, my doctor wouldn't have detected my heart's 19-second pause. With that information, he could diagnose the malignant form of vasovagal syncope and prevent syncope with a pacemaker. Now I have comfort in knowing I'm OK and that my heart will keep beating."

Today, Kymberli is committed to helping others learn that young people can develop malignant vasovagal syncope and to be aware of life-saving medical technology.

This story reflects one person's experience. Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.