I’m Heidi. I was born blue. I have a huge, beautiful scar that runs down my chest. I have congenital heart disease. I couldn’t prevent this. Nobody could.
Minutes after my mom gave birth to me, I was whisked away for a life-saving procedure that would buy me some time while my parents figured out what to do next. The answer was easy for them: Boston. At the time, Boston Children’s Hospital was one of the only hospitals in the world that had performed the heart surgery I needed to have any chance of living a “normal” life. A few days later I flew on my first (and only) private jet from sunny Southern California to freezing Boston, Massachusetts. I became the 100th baby to have the switch surgery.
Fast forward 25 years and I’m a college graduate working in San Francisco living “my best life.” Little did I know my life was about to change forever. I needed another open heart surgery. As a 25 year old that is not something you want to hear…
On January 17, 2014 I underwent an eight hour open heart surgery. I woke up happy because I knew my story was just beginning. During my recovery, I began to recognize that heart health was not just physical, but mental too. I also realized this could happen to anyone. I needed to do something.
I couldn’t prevent being born with heart disease, but you can prevent getting it. And I’m here to help. I started Project Happy Hearts to challenge the world to live life with a happy heart. I believe the way we live can make a dramatic difference. It starts with our hearts. Instead of letting heart disease define me, I’m using my story to change the world. Join me!