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Molly’s Kids: Meet Chloe Lilienthal, who lives with POTS

Chloe Lilienthal
Chloe Lilienthal(Lilienthal family photo)
Published: May. 14, 2021 at 11:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Four years ago, Chloe Lilienthal was diagnosed with a common but misunderstood syndrome, called POTS. This form of dysautonomia stands for Postural Orthastatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

Multiple other #MollysKids live with this syndrome (you might remember reading about POTS before).

In Chloe’s case, this beautiful now 19-year-old graduate from Burns High School, had odd symptoms for years. Things like lethargy, migraines, passing out randomly, irregular pulse, peculiar blood pressure, muscle weakness, and pain.

“We went through a lot of doctors telling us it was just ‘anxiety,’” said her mom, Vicky Hardy, who lives in Shelby and is a detention officer with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office. “But after continually fighting for my daughter and asking for more tests and opinions, we were referred to Atrium Health’s CMC Main. Doctors there discovered after long periods of sitting, laying, or standing, Chloe’s blood pressure would drop then dramatically rise. Her pulse rate would race. At times it’d make her pass out. It is so often passed off as the child being ‘dramatic’—especially in young girls and women—but the real syndrome was FINALLY diagnosed.”

Four years ago, Chloe Lilienthal was diagnosed with a common but misunderstood syndrome, called...
Four years ago, Chloe Lilienthal was diagnosed with a common but misunderstood syndrome, called POTS.(Lilienthal family photo)

With proper medication, increased salt, low sugar intake, and extra fluids, POTS can be managed. That’s a good thing, but it’s also a lot of maintenance and upkeep.

“Chloe is a vibrant teenager who refuses to let POTS take her youth away,” Vicky said. “She is on a medication that changes her salt outtake into potassium. That keeps her fluids and blood supply at a higher volume. But she gets really tired. She couldn’t go to junior prom because after having a photo shoot, she lost all energy and could not continue after taking pictures. (One photo from that shoot below in comments.) Then with COVID, no Senior Prom for her either. My heart breaks for her, but her spirit and shining attitude keeps her going.”

Chloe is pushing forward in all ways. She’s starting college and says she wants to be a probation/parole officer.

“She refuses to let her medical battle rule her,” said her mom. “Some days she has such severe muscular cramps and migraines she can barely get out of bed. But she keeps pushing on. She also holds a full-time job and everything. She comes home exhausted.”

Vicky said she wants the community to know her daughter because POTS is rarely discussed, but can be severely debilitating. Some children have to resort to wheelchairs, she said, simply to go to the store.

“Many different theories exist as to what the onset of this syndrome is from,” Vicky said. “Most cardiologists agree at some point along the way a viral infection or head trauma impacted the child. My hope is one day an actual cure is found; not just management of symptoms.”

Vicky’s email comes off as one proud mamma. She says she bursts on the inside watching the woman her daughter is becoming.

“I want more people to see my daughter as I see her,” she said. “Motivated, beautiful, and resourceful.”

#MollysKids

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