1/22/2013 3:57 PM
When I was born in April of 1988, the doctor's at Boston Children's Hospital discovered that I was born with Pulmonary Atresia. A procedure had to be done immediately to fix the hole in my heart the day after my birth. After a successful first operation performed by Dr. Lock, I was able to go home to begin my new life. At 18 months, we were told that I was in need of another operation to permanently fix that hole.
During open heart surgery, a device called the CardioSEAL (only used on 50 previous patients) was used in the operation to close up the hole and the excessive leaky valves. The surgery was successful and after only two days of being in the hospital, I was sent home smiling to a house filled with family and friends celebrating the successful operation performed by the dedicated staff at Children's.
As a result of what I went through in the early stages of my life, I have never been limited in terms of what I could participate in. Whether it be physical activity, traveling, or anything in between, I've never been told I couldn't do it. I graduated from Quinnipiac University in May, 2010, where I majored in Public Relations. I am so proud to call QU my alma mater as I was selected as a guest speaker in February, 2012 for a career day event in Boston. My discussion was how I made it to Quinnipiac as a student and what I've taken from my experience there into the real world. What I highlighted during my speech was how I originally was not accepted in my first time around when applying to schools. I knew I was capable of being there, and after a semester at a local institution, I was successfully admitted for the spring semester of 2007, proving to everybody I know that I'm capable of doing anything I set my mind to with no limits, even with my heart condition.
Today, I am happy and confident to say that I would not be where I am right now if it wasn't for that fall day in 1989. The professionals at Children's took me in and provided me with top notch care that is letting me continue to live a fulfilling life where the opportunities and the potential will always be there for me to reach for, no matter where life takes me. With the support from my family, friends, and anyone else that has made an impact on me growing up, I can't say I have any regrets. My one piece of advice for anyone that reads this, and although it may sound cliché, is: don't limit yourself to anything in life. Be open-minded and take advantage of what life offers. Life is too short to say "what if," and you'll never know what new interests you'll find as you grow up. Having a heart condition still hasn't held me back from doing anything and won't ever. Thanks!