LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- February is Heart Health Month and today we will be joined by a 24-year old heart survivor. But her heart problems began at birth.
Heather Rose considers herself a normal 24-year-old, but she was literally born blue. In November 1988, Heather was born with several heart defects, five to be exact, which caused her to turn blue. Heather was diagnosed with dextrocardia, atrial situs solitus, single left-sided left ventricle with right AV valve artesia, transposition of the great vessels and pulmonary stenosis. In lame men's terms, her heart was positioned to the right side of her chest, many parts of her heart were transposed, and her pulmonary valve was very narrow.
When Heather was six months old she had her first surgery at Arkansas Children's Hospital where she received a pulmonary shunt. Then at four years old, she had her first open heart surgery. A two part procedure called a Fontan redirected the flow of blood to her lungs. Two years later Heather had a second open heart surgery.
Heather sees her heart defects as a blessing, not a hindrance. "My heart defects have given me the opportunity to share with others that adversities in life only hold you back when you allow them too. My goal is to live every day to the fullest and to love the life God has blessed me with."