Jacob, born 1999
My name is Jacob and I was born on January 25th, 1999 with HLHS and TAPVR. My conditions were not detected in utero, however, that never stopped my family from lending me all the care and love they had. Over the 18 years of my life I have undergone 14 heart surgeries. It never really struck me how serious my condition was until I turned 14 years old. I found myself hundreds of feet in the air in an emergency helicopter flight to Boston Children’s Hospital. Since October of 2013 I have undergone a further 5 heart surgeries with 3 of them being open-heart. Though they may have been some of the hardest and most traumatic events of my life, I still continued to push forward even to this day.
Today I’m writing my story as an aspiring film major at Montclair State University, NJ, my college. I always look back on my experiences as something to remember in a content nature; something to remember in an uplifting light. The scars embedded on my chest don’t define me as a person. I wear them as badges of hope and inspiration for those alike. No matter what troubles may seize themselves in your past, there is always a brighter future at the end of the tunnel. Though these prior times may have been dreary and full of sorrowful moments, they should never stop you from chasing your goals. You can say that it’s a miracle that I’m here today; and I would say the same back to you. Yes, I have half of heart, I have my physical limitations, but it will never stop me from being who I am. I guess my message to all is to live your life to the fullest. No matter the hurdles that lie in your wake, the pain and suffering that you may endure and the moments of broken levity that may wash down upon you, never give up. As a heart kid himself, no matter our physical or mental limitations we all can strive for greatness. And if you, your child or a family member can overcome these hardships, there is nothing else that you can’t overcome as well.
Story by Jacob – New Hampshire