My name is Meagan

I am 30 years old.

I am Imperfectly Perfect.

At the age of 19, I felt like I was on top of the world. I had just received my Black Belt in karate, I was a reservist soldier in the army and was about to graduate from college. I felt great and appeared to be a healthy teenager, involved in many physical activities. After having a routine medical exam, I was sent for a cardiac echocardiogram, the results were shocking. I learned that I had a hole in my heart, two valves that were leaking and my heart was enlarged to triple the size of what it should be. Shortly after finding out the news of my congenital heart disease and being diagnosed with ASD and VSD, I had to have my first open heart surgery.

This definitely was the biggest challenge I faced in my life but with strength, courage and support I survived it. Now 30, I have found out that the first surgery was not 100% successful, and I will need a second heart surgery in the near future. My cardiologist says I will need a mitral valve replacement, as I have severe regurgitation. I have not decided if I want to get a mechanical or tissue valve. Despite the challenges, my husband and I have been so blessed to have had two children in the last few years, now ages 4 years old and a 1 year old.

When I look at my scar and think about my journey, I am very thankful for my second chance at life.

It reminds me to maintain a perspective on what is important in life and

continue to remain optimistic and grateful for each day.

Living with Heart Disease, I have learned that life can be taken away so quickly and so much can change in the blink of an eye. I stay positive and do not let heart disease get in the way of achieving my goals.

At this point, I take life one day at a time. I am unsure when my next surgery will be. My cardiologist says that I will have my next surgery when my quality of life differs from that now, or if they notice a major change with my heart valve at a routine echocardiogram. In fact, at my last check up my doctor said he has never said this before but, my heart appears to look better and healthier than ever even after 2 pregnancies. I know it will never “get better” without surgical repair, however I do everything I can to combat what is working against me by eating well and working out regularly.

It is also incredible what the power of positive thinking can do!

I do not make my struggles obvious and give them NO power over my being.

My journey has made me who I am today!

My scars are proof of strength and I thank my lucky stars every day and feel blessed for a second chance at life.

Scars are BEAUTIFUL and sometimes you realize your true strength when your only option is to be strong.

I will never stop fighting because life is too beautiful and precious not too.

I fight for CHD awareness because without it more people like me will go undiagnosed. Awareness can save lives and babies can get the proper medical attention required.