Welcome to Mission Mondays!
My overall mission and passion in life is to teach people to be health care advocates for themselves and the people they love. I really want people to understand that they need to be a part of their own health care team. My hope in writing about my own story is to teach the reader everything I have learned about being an advocate for myself. I also hope that telling my story will encourage families with kids and/or adults going through heart problems.
The shortest version of my story is that I was born with a heart defect called pulmonary arteriosus. This means that the pulmonary valve in my heart wasn’t formed correctly. I had my first heart surgery when I was 18 hours old and my first open heart surgery when I was two years old. (Picture above: me in recovery after my very first open heart surgery.) I lived a fairly normal childhood and then when I was 13 years old my tricuspid valve in my heart stopped working. I had open heart surgery again to hopefully repair that valve. Through a lot of difficult circumstances in the operating room it was determined it needed to be replaced with a pig valve which meant it would have to keep being replaced whenever the valve wore out. It first wore out when I was 19 years old because between 13 and 19 I went through puberty. All the calcium in my body caused the valve to become calcified and need to be replaced. When I was 24 years old I got a staph infection and because that valve was the only “foreign” thing in my body it got infected. I became severely sick and it was the closest to death I’ve ever come. In the book I explain a lot more about the procedures, the affect each surgery had on me and my family, and what I learned from each surgery. This is just a brief overview so you know where I am coming from.
My prayer is that people will read my book and my blog and it will give them hope. I just want to be an encouragement. I want to be able to show that even in the darkest times, there is always hope and good that can come from those hard times in our lives. God has laid this mission for others on my heart in a very strong way. I looking for places to volunteer, speak, and/or offer my time and experiences to help people with heart issues. Please pray for me as I embark on this unknown journey only knowing that I am following God's will for my life and I desire nothing more than to be His hands and feet to people in need.
Stay tuned for more “Mission Mondays” posts to learn more about my health story, being an advocate for yourself or those you love, more explanations on some of the tips I give in my book, and more about where God is leading me to help others.