I was born twenty-eight years ago with severe Congenital Heart Defect called Tricuspid Atresia, Hypoplastic Right Ventricle which means I was born without a right ventricle. I was not diagnosed until ten weeks old and dying. I had a slim chance, but my parents never gave up on me and went through with surgeries that were “new” for those born single ventricles. Despite a few close calls and many struggles I survived.
I have been very blessed to live a very full happy life despite challenges from this lifelong heart condition. About three years after being diagnosed with rhythm issues, that are common with my heart condition and surgeries, at the age of twenty I felt the need to learn more about my heart condition.
Around that time I realized what I have gone through has made me look at life in a way many people do not get a chance to and felt a pull to reach out to other CHD families, not only for support, but to offer my knowledge and to offer hope to those parents with young CHD kids.
In the past eight years I have reached out to hundreds of CHD parents, fellow CHD adults, been in newspaper articles and on the radio spreading CHD Awareness, I have done speeches telling my story, and have had my story published in a book and a magazine. I have been part of many CHD events and I am currently a Co Chair of the Central Texas Congenital Heart Walk. My passion is for CHD awareness and helping others in the CHD community.
In November 2008 I met my husband, Chris, who is an amazing man and has been my rock in the health challenges I have faced since meeting him. He has pushed me to keep smiling, keep being positive, keep sharing my story, keep reaching out to others, and to keep reaching for my dreams. Chris is my soulmate and I am so blessed to have him beside me in my lifelong CHD journey. We have been married only four years, but it feels longer, we were so meant to be. He helps remind me that I am a fighter who never gives up even when knocked down. I live life to the fullest despite challenges I face and I am grateful for each new day.
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