My name is Alexa. I am 11 years old and in the 6th grade. I was born with a complex set of Congenital Heart Defects, including Transposition of the Great Arteries, Pulmonary Atresia, and Tricuspid Atresia. This means that the right side of my heart did not form correctly.
I’ve had four surgeries to fix this problem, starting when I was 5 days old. My last surgery was when I was 2 years old. I now have a pacemaker attached to my heart that helps it beat at the correct rate. My cardiologist sees me every year to keep an eye on my progress, and I have my pacemaker checked every few months. I will likely need more surgeries in the future, and maybe even a heart transplant. I hope to avoid needing a full transplant if research and technology improves, which is what the American Heart Association is trying to help make possible.
I believe that with the money the AHA raises, we can someday find a cure and better interventions for Congenital Heart Disease and Strokes. They have already helped fund research that has led to better treatments that help children like me survive and lead full lives. I have enjoyed fundraising through Jump Rope for Heart at my school. My sisters both help raise money too.
Since my surgeries, I have grown up to be a caring, loving, and loyal person who loves spending time with my friends and family. I live a relatively normal life with few athletic restrictions. I enjoy being active and keeping my heart healthy through dance, softball and volleyball. If I wouldn’t have had my surgeries, I wouldn’t be here today. They have helped me to live a great life so far!
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