Dr. Heather Bourkovski, a former resident of Blackfoot, is giving a local woman an incredible opportunity. Bourkovski bought a plane ticket for Brady Meline, a sufferer of rare heart problems. Bourkovski’s generosity will allow Meline to travel to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, to seek specialized treatment for her condition.
In December 2010, Meline was diagnosed with microvascular dysfunction and prinzmetal spasms at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. These diseases require Meline to undergo stringent treatments. She takes pain medications, medications that slow down her heart, and medications that open her blood vessels. When Meline’s condition worsens, she is hospitalized and given a Nitroglycerin drip. Last year, Meline spent time in the ICU every month.
Bourkovski visited Meline frequently during these ICU stays. She knew Meline did not have money for a plane ticket to Georgia, so she offered to pay for it. Though Bourkovski now lives in Colorado, she kept her promise and ensured that Meline will have oxygen and terminal to terminal assistance during her trip.
Meline’s life has drastically changed since she was diagnosed with heart problems. She used to have an active lifestyle. In fact, Meline, played softball and other sports during her time at Blackfoot High School. As an adult, Meline followed in the footsteps of her father, Rocky Moldenhauer, and coached softball. She also was a paramedic and a full-time mom.
Now, Meline is confined to bed and on oxygen.
“I had to say goodbye to my old life,” stated Meline. “I had to accept the things I could do, not the things I couldn’t do.”
Though Meline does not hope to regain her old lifestyle, she hopes the specialists will find more stable treatment for her, so she can stay out of the hospital, move around, and be with her family.
Meline is grateful for the people that have helped her through her illness. She has found friends in an online support group of women that also have her condition. Meline said it is good to have people that understand what she is going through. She will be able to meet the woman who started the group during her trip to Georgia.
She is also thankful for the help of her LDS ward. Church members made sure she did not have to go shopping and packed her freezer with meals.
“They made a big difference in how we are doing today,” said Meline.
Though Meline’s condition is difficult, she remains upbeat because of all she has learned as a result of her disease.
She said “in a weird way, I’m thankful, because I’ve become a better person."