25 and still alive.
I was born with a heart condition and have had 3 open heart surgeries by the age of 5. Back then my condition was rare and I had a 50/50 chance of surviving. Growing up I had restrictions on my life, but I felt healthy and good. A few years ago I started experiencing chest pain and was constantly short of breath and dizzy. Last year I went to see a cardiologist and figured I'd be in and out and good to go. Instead I spent months going through numerous tests and visits and eventually my cardiologist sent me down to UCLA. Once there I was informed I had to have a procedure to get rid of the muscle that had formed under my valves. I was beyond terrified even though it was a minor procedure. The entire staff from the doctors, nurses, anesthesiologist, etc were amazing. It had been 20 years since I had anything done and they were all so nice and comforting it made things easier for me. Once I woke up I was so excited to be in a good place and to be done with the procedure. I even started thinking of fun things I would do once I healed. Unfortunately the doctor came in and told me the procedure didn't work and I would need another open heart surgery (the biggest fear of mine since I was able to understand my condition) I immediately burst into tears. The pain and fear is unlike anything I've felt before. I joke and try to laugh about it, but the last month has been the hardest. I constantly break down, but then I think of where I will be having this done at and thinking of everyone at the hospital and the experience I had there a month ago gives me some peace and puts me at ease. Even though I live 3-4 hours away I wouldn't want to go to any other hospital. I'm forever grateful for what the hospital and staff has done and will do for me in a couple weeks. Because of you I will soon be the healthiest me I will ever be and I words can't express how much that means to me and my family.