Back in the year 2000 when I was seven years old, my life changed forever when I was told that I was going to need an operation. Not just any operation, but particularly one to fix my heart. I was born with a heart murmur and a leak in my mitral valve of my heart. Being that I was leaking so much blood my heart was overworking itself to the point where it was beginning to form excess muscle around it. It was a very scary situation and it changed my life for several reasons. The first reason it changed my life is because it made growing up hard. After my surgery I could barely move and I was afraid to strain myself in fear that I might hurt my heart even more. Me, being a little kid still wanting to play with the other kids and do all the activities they could, wasn’t a reality for me. It made my childhood very grim and unpleasant. It took a toll on me physically and mentally which at that age I don’t think I was at all ready for. The next reason it changed my life is the way it affected my body. When I watch home movies of me before the surgery I had nice broad shoulders, a nice chest and slim back, but now that i’m nineteen I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see at all. I work out so much to try and get to the point of feeling comfortable with my body, but it’s just like I never get my body normal looking. My chest is sucked in the middle from when they broke it to get to my heart, my scar goes all the way down to the start of my stomach, and everything else like my shoulders, and my ribs is just so out of whack that I looked deformed. The most important reason why it changed my life was actually in a good way. It made me grow up with a very different outlook on life. I began to appreciate every single moment whether it’s good or bad. Looking back at how fragile I was at such a young age and how easily I could of passed away scares me, but it also gives me strength to continue each day. I feel blessed that God has given me this mind set...
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