One heart that changed my life

One heart that changed my life
By: Jasmine Rena Adams

According to Webster’s Dictionary the heart is a hollow muscular organ that pumps blood through your circulatory system by rhythmic contractions and dilations. The heart is the most important organ in the human body. Studies have shown that the heart beats 72 beats per minute, and will be over 2 billion times during a 65 year lifespan. Having a healthy and strong heart can have a positive effect on the rest of your body. However having a weak heart can cause serious complications to your health. My family battled many heart complications over the years and struggled with inadequate hearts.

The first battle that my family faced happened over 40 years ago. My mother (born January 20, 1972) was born with a heart that had many complications and problems. Her heart had a hole in the center, which affected all four of the heart chambers. This was diagnosed as Atrioventricular Canal Defect. This hole causes blood to not properly route to each chamber, which cause improper circulation. In the 70’s medical technology was not as advanced as it is today and surgical error became a higher risk factor. Still, my mother needed surgery otherwise her life expectancy would be shorter than expected.

Before my mother even lived out a quarter of her life, her family had to face the idea of her death. Ultimately she had to have open heart surgery to fix the hole. The surgery was successful and she lived a normal life. However there were certain things she could not achieve because of her surgery. When she was 18 she wanted to join the army, but because of her health history she was denied into the service. My mother strives herself on living a healthy lifestyle. Because of her medical history she tries to eat healthy and stay in shape, for the sake of her heart. Our dinners consist of fruits, vegetables, and low cholesterol foods. When rarely fry any of our meats because of how fatty and unhealthy it is.

Having healthy hearts is the gateway to having a long lasting life. With my mother going through a major surgery when she was just a little girl, impacted the way she lived her adult life. Because she knows that her heart is somewhat weaker than the average heart, she tends to exercise and eat healthy foods. Having a strong heart is very important because without it you could potentially end up in an early grave. Having a healthy heart is the start of having a healthy mind. Heart health saved my family and it impacts our daily lives. Whenever we exercise together or whenever we eat together, we are always making our hearts more powerful and long lasting.