I have three congenital heart defects. They are Ebstein’s Anomaly, Pulmonary Atresia, and Atrial Septal Defect. Doctors told my parents that my conditions were very rare and I would not survive. Surgery was necessary but experimental. If by some miracle I survived, I would live a short life as a vegetable with no real abilities. I was flown immediately to MUSC by helicopter and underwent my first open heart surgery at 4 days old. At 4 years old, I had my third open heart surgery.

I now live a healthy and unrestricted life! I run marathons, hike local mountains, and I even was blessed enough to healthfully carry a beautiful and healthy baby girl full term who is now 6 months old. I still need more heart surgery in the future. I am currently waiting to have a pulmonary valve replacement. I am thankful for my heart and for donations and research given to help raise awareness and find cures for these defects! Emily lives in the upstate with her husband and beautiful baby girl!