My heart defect is called “TOF” – Tetralogy of Fallot – which none of my family knew about until 2 weeks after I was born. My memaw thought I was breathing funny which at first they thought was just a heart murmur. I would turn blue around the lips & my family always thought after that I’d look blue.
One day about 2 months old I started turning blue and could not breathe. I ended up in the ER. After seeing my cardiologist, my family was told I had a heart defect. I was later told that by 6 months, I would have open heart surgery.
At 6 months I had surgery. My family was scared I wasn’t going to make it through surgery! The doctors kept coming out every couple of hours to let them know what was going on. After surgery was done, the doctor told my family that I had survived! My family was happy.
And now I get checked once a year & will eventually need a valve replacement when the doctor feels I need it.
Here I am today, well and happy and living freely with almost no restrictions!
Because I was born with this, I now know what’s it’s like to go through it and I can help other kids just like me to get though it too! This helped me in being a role model. I even created a Cardiac Teen Group for my Silver Award for Girl Scouts. I enjoy showing that there is a possibility of getting through it, you just got to believe! You can make it through if you stay strong and have hope for the future!
I would like to send a thank you out to my family, friends, Dr Kamenir, my cardiologist, Dr Devejian, my surgeon, and my American Heart Association family for all you have done for me with your love and support, without which I may not be here today with you!
This is my story and this is why I spread Congenital Heart Defect and Heart Disease Awareness…..
Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We want to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.