Friday was National Wear Red Day for Women’s Heart Health. I guess you could say my family and I have been supporting the American Heart Association since 1993 when my Father’s Neice Emma was born.
Emma was born on March 5th 1993, she was born 6 weeks early on purpose. While in the womb they learned that this little girl had a broken heart and that she would not live unless she received a new one. Thus set off a whirl wind for my Uncle Jeffery and his wife Connie. It would be an experiment, she would be the first baby in Minnesota to receive a heart transplant. The road would be rough and uncertain, yet they took up the course.
In april she was strong enough to receive her new heart. The surgery took place at the University of St Louis MO Medical center along with staff from Fairview university hospital. She made history and was born again. Her life was filled with struggles, triumph, and joy, more joy than anyone could imagine.
Sadly Emma Died on December 29th 1996, her little heart did not give out on her. She died from complications due to the common cold. Our hearts were broken, I’ve never seen so many people at a funeral, a funeral for such a tiny little girl. Her life was short, but it was worth it, she did not die in vein. Because of her journey doctors and scientist know more about infants with broken hearts. It’s safe to say that very few if not any have died from the common cold in the past ten years. Her little life was worth it, I can’t help to wonder what Emma would be today, would she be a hell raiser, a motivator, or would she be an advocate for children like her. One thing I know is this little girl is dancing in heaven and that she will always be remembered.
Because of Emma my family is very big on supporting the American Heart Association and the National Organ Donation Bank. Without these two things we would have never of had Emma for three years. Three beautiful years. Little did I know how much the American Heart association would mean to me.
In 2002 on February 8th my Father suffered 2 heart attacks and three strokes. I was a way at college and couldn’t come home to see him. All I knew is that my father, my pillar of strength was fighting for his life. All I could do was pray, I asked god to take me instead, to put me in his place. He didn’t but luckily my Daddy survived. He isn’t 100% and we know he never will be. But i am thankful for each day I have with him, for every moment he can remember, and for every time I hear his voice on the other end of the phone. As I am aware that if it weren’t for the Mayo Clinic he would have been dead at 50.
It’s funny how life goes in the spring of 2008 I was planning my wedding, packing and getting ready to move to my new house. My x husband was on a cruise and I was alone. When my phone rang, it was my Dad telling me that my Mom was at work and that she was being taken to the hospital by ambulance. My mom, the woman who never backs down from a fight, lay in the hospital with a broken heart. The doctors said she had a mild heart attack and that she was going to be ok.
Between Emma, my dad and my mom I believed in the Mission of Heart Health Awareness and took up the cause. Wearing red each year and shouting it from the rough tops. Know the signs of stroke and heart attack. Little did I know that at 26 the very words I had been shouting would save my own life.
In October 2009 I had a mild stroke as a result of my pulmonary embolism. They tell me I shouldn’t be alive. I know I shouldn’t be, I am here for a reason and maybe that reason is to help you prevent a heart attach or stroke. To educate you on the signs and symptoms. Because every second counts.
Maybe I just come from a family of broken hearts. Who knows. But I do know that our hearts may be broken, yet we take up the fight to help you, help you live the best life that you can. So I hope you had red on this friday 🙂