A Life Changing Outcome

Every day, people from around the world turn to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for unparalleled care and expertise. For decades, Brigham clinicians and researchers have pushed the boundaries of medicine and science to improve diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease—from the most common illnesses to the rarest conditions. Combining the latest innovations and technologies with compassionate care, the Brigham has provided generations of patients with life-changing outcomes and healthier futures. 

Abby McGillivray, a 20-year-old who underwent a rare procedure at the Brigham, is just one of many patients to benefit from the Brigham’s care. Abby suffered from frequent fainting spells for much of her young life, beginning in high school and growing increasingly common, even daily, in college. This debilitating condition kept Abby from fully living her life—as driving a car, spending time with friends, traveling, and being in crowded areas all became too risky. 

With the frequency and severity of her fainting, Abby knew she needed to find answers. This led her to the Brigham and cardiac electrophysiologist Sunil Kapur, MD, who diagnosed Abby with neurocardiogenic vasovagal syncope, a dangerous miscommunication between the brain and the heart that was causing her heart to routinely stop. To address the problem, Kapur suggested an experimental but safe procedure known as cardiac neuroablation. Performed only a handful of times before in the U.S. and Europe, the surgery successfully alleviated Abby’s fainting spells. After many years living with a disruptive and debilitating condition, she gained a second chance. Today, Abby is fulfilling her dream of returning to school to study nursing.  

See more stories like this that are only made possible because of supporters like you!