Meet Skylar in Des Plaines Illinois

Updated:Apr 25,2013

Meet Skylar My name is Skylar and I am going to be 11 years old. I live with my mom, two dogs, a cat and a sugar glider. I love animals, and thankfully so does my mom. I stay with my dad every other weekend, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I have a dog and two cats there.

I was born a month premature with a condition called Aortic Stenosis. I was only 3 pounds and 6 ounces. I had to stay in the hospital for a month before I could go home.

The first heart surgery I needed to fix my heart was an Angioplasty when I was 16 months old. It worked for about two years, but then my valve started leaking, so I needed to go to the cardiologist every six months. I started to take heart medicine to help lower my blood pressure.

When I was 4, I had to have another heart surgery called a Roth procedure, which is a valve replacement. My mom said that it was the scariest day of her life. The surgery was over 9 ½ hours long.

I have had so many illnesses that require me to stay in the hospital because my immune system is weaker than a healthy kid my age. I am limited in the activities I can do. I’m not allowed to participate in gymnastics or cheerleading or many other sports. I have to be very careful with what I can do, and I have to drink at least four bottles of water a day so I don’t feel dizzy. I am sad sometimes that I cannot play and keep up with my friends, but I am very good at singing and I love to draw. I also love to dance, I just can’t do too much of that at once.

I am currently awaiting another heart valve replacement because as I grow, the valve that I have is stretching and enlarging. We are getting closer to when it needs to be done, but we don’t know when…next week, a month, or even a year from now. I believe this has made me a very strong person with all that I have been through and all the tests, the poking, and knowing that there is still so much more that I will have to do.

I love to be active in helping other kids and telling my story, which is why I’m an Ambassador for the American Heart Association. I raise money for Hoops for Heart and Jump Rope for Heart at my school. I also had my own charity event: a motorcycle run called Ride for Heart. We raised $1600 for AHA at this event! We will be doing it again this year with hopes that it will be bigger and better. I wish that no one ever has to be as sick as I have been.”