My name is Zoe Sher. I have had an atrial septal defect my whole life – all 8 years.
I recently had heart surgery to close it because the cardiologist said my heart was getting too big. Before my surgery, I was excited to hear that I needed to have surgery, but on the day of my surgery, I was scared that the surgery would do something bad to me. I still tried to be brave though.
After my surgery, I had to lie flat on my back without moving my legs for 4 hours. That was really, really hard. I was worried that I was going to sit up or move by accident and mess up the new device in my heart. I got to stay up really late at the hospital. We were waiting for the room to be cleaned, and when we finally got moved into the room, it was 10 p.m. I’ve never stayed up that late before! I was excited to have a sleepover with my mom at the hospital. But I did not get much sleep, because the machines kept making loud beeps and the nurses had to check on me a lot. The next day, I was really excited to go home.
I am happy that my surgery is done. I really appreciate the cardiologist, the other doctors, the nurses and everyone else who helped me during my hospital stay.
I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but I’ve realized that there are other kids out there who still need to have their heart surgeries.
I think that if we join together in our communities, we can come up with ways to help them too.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because we get to say what we are thankful for. But we should also try to do things for other people to give them things to be thankful about too. This year, I worked with my mom and dad to do a fundraiser for the American Heart Association! I did a bake sale to raise money for the hospital, and I also started a charity club at school so I could do more things to help others with my friends.
I can’t wait to see what next year brings!!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Zoe is a featured speaker at the Rochester Go Red for Women Luncheon, December 10th 2019. For more information visit RochesterGoRed.heart.org.