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A Sick Child Should Never Lose Hope.

DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts Mission is Giving hope to others through the spirit of one child, we are dedicated to the healing hearts of children, So that he or she can grow in love, peace, and happiness. We believe and teach that giving is the way to accomplish our hopes for them. We welcome you to follow our cause and all the Children and families we help.  You can also follow us at djshope.com, twitter @djshope4hearts & facebook.

Please consider us for any future donation as every dollar  given makes a difference to a sick child. Also feel free to share your childhood heart disease story below.  We have helped many Transplant kids & hope they to join us for feedback.

Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Children

Ways to Protect Children from getting and spreading COVID-19

Original Article published by the CDC and can be found HERE.

“Make sure your child washes their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Read more and watch a video on how to wash hands correctly.

If soap and water are not readily available, make sure your child uses a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Teach your child to cover all surfaces of their hands with hand sanitizer and rub their hands together until they feel dry. If your child is under 6 years of age, supervise them when they use hand sanitizer.

You, as a parent, guardian, or caretaker, play an important role in teaching your child to wash their hands.

  • Explain that handwashing can keep them healthy and stop germs from spreading to others.
  • Be a good role model — if you wash your hands as recommended, they’re more likely to do the same.
  • Make handwashing a family activity.

Practice cough and sneeze etiquette by covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, throwing the tissue in the closest garbage can, and washing your hands after you throw it away.

Avoid close contact

Keep your child at least 6 feet away from others who don’t live with them and those who are sick (such as coughing and sneezing).

Limit in-person playtime and connect virtually with other children

CDC recognizes this pandemic has been stressful to many. Socializing and interacting with peers can be a healthy way for children to cope with stress and connect with others. However, the key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to limit close contact with others as much as possible.

An important guiding principle to remember is that the more people your child interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. While your child may be spending time with other people as they return to childcare or school settings, you should limit your child’s interactions with additional children and adults outside of childcare or school to decrease risk.

For playdates, the risk of COVID-19 increases as follows:

  • Lowest risk: No in-person playdates. Children connect virtually (via phone calls and video chats).
  • Medium risk: Infrequent playdates with the same family or friend who is also practicing everyday preventive measures. Children maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from each other during the playdate. ​Playdates are held outdoors. (Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor space where there is less ventilation and it might be harder to keep children apart.)
  • Highest Risk: Frequent indoor playdates with multiple friends or families who are not practicing everyday preventive measures. Children do not maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other.

To help your child maintain social connections while social distancing, help them have supervised phone calls or video chats with their friends.

Limit your child’s interaction with people at highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19

To protect those who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, you may consider taking these extra precautions.

  • Separate your child from others in your household who have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Carefully consider who might be best to provide childcare if you are unable to care for your child (for example, you are not able to stay with your child while childcare or school is closed).
  • Limit your child’s contact with other people if someone at higher risk for COVID-19 will be providing care (such as an older adult or someone with an underlying medical condition).
  • Postpone visits or trips to see grandparents, older family members and family members who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Consider connecting virtually or by writing letters.

Wear a mask

Children 2 years of age and older should wear a mask.

Help your child (if 2 years of age or older) wear a mask correctly when in public and when around people they don’t live with.

CDC recognizes that wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people. Correct and consistent use of masks may be challenging for some children, such as children with certain disabilities, including cognitive, intellectual, developmental, sensory and behavioral disorders. Learn more about what you can do if your child or you cannot wear masks in certain situations.

Note that wearing a mask is not a substitute for other everyday prevention actions, like avoiding close contact with others and washing hands frequently.

Clean & disinfect

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily

Frequently touched surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks.

Wash items, including washable plush toys as needed

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • You can wash dirty laundry from a sick person together with other people’s items.

Learn more about cleaning and disinfecting your home.

Consider changing travel plans

Because travel increases your child’s chances of coming in contact with others who may have COVID-19 and your child spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others if they are infected, staying home is the best way to protect your child and others from getting sick.

We don’t know if one type of travel is safer than others. Any place where travelers interact with other people (for example, airports, bus stations, train stations, gas stations, restaurants, and rest stops) are places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. It can also be hard to stay at least 6 feet apart from other people during travel. Learn more about Travel During COVID-19.”

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

🎄🍪 5 #Holiday Treats To Brighten Up Your Family’s #Christmas 🍪🎄

Original Post By Dhruv Vohra

Tasty.co Team

Watch the full video here: https://bit.ly/3lP9lIO

Craving something specific? time stamps are below!

0:06 🎅 Strawberry Santas

0:39 🌲 Cornflake Holly Wreaths

1:13 ☃️ #Snowman Bread & Onion Dip

2:09 🍬 Peppermint Bark

2:57 🍪 Sugar Swirl #Cookies

White Bean Salad

White Bean Salad

Recipe Particulars:

  • Recipe Credit: The recipe was taken from here to promote healthy eating.We are deeply grateful to the author for posting the same: You are helping us encourage a healthy heart :).
  • Servings Size: Makes 4 Servings.
  • Recipe Nutrition Facts: Per serving: 215 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 22 g carbohydrate, 13 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 127 mg sodium

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. sugar snap peas
  • 3 medium red radishes
  • 1 can (15 oz.) no salt added navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large green onion, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 1 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup snipped fresh dill, plus 16 small sprigs for garnish
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered lengthwise
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved

Recipe Directions:

  • In small pot of boiling water, cook sugar snap peas 1 minute.
  • Immediately drain in colander.
  • Run cold water over peas while tossing until cool.
  • Cut peas into 1/2-inch pieces and place in medium mixing bowl.
  • Slice radishes, stack slices and cut into quarters making wedges.
  • Add radishes to mixing bowl.
  • Add drained beans, green onion and shallot and toss to combine.
  • In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard and cayenne pepper.
  • Mix to blend and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add dressing to bean mixture, using fork to toss gently until well combined.
  • Add chopped dill and mix gently. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as needed.
  • To serve, spoon one-fourth of bean salad in center of 4 salad plates.
  • Place 4 egg wedges around bean salad on each plate.
  • Add 8 tomato halves and 4 dill springs to each plate and serve.

The Don’t Quit Poem

The poem was referenced from here. The author is unknown.

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When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

– Author unknown –

Emily Kopp’s tale of courage: The Journey ahead…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/13968196816

All was going fine. I was going through my routine as normally as possible when suddenly in summers of 2010 I felt light headed and tired. It was summer of 2010 when I was feeling light-headed and tired. TheDoctors then informed me that the heart anti-rejection medicine is now causing my kidneys to fail. The room felt far too serious for the news, that I would eventually need a kidney transplant and would probably receive one within the year. By now I am proud of my scars, because these scars developed empathy in me toward other people who suffer from various serious medical conditions and was actually excited when I heard this. More scars to be proud of, would you not say that I was courageous??. I can be more like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. I was told that I would have to get bloodwork monthly and inject myself with Aranesp when needed. I told myself that it would be nothing compared to a heart transplant. Silly of me? No at that time it was a perfect thought, I was so positive and the fighter in me was telling me so.Silly me. I could have never have anticipated how long I could possibly wait and only thought of the end result.

In 2012, I got my first job at a place called Chicken Wow. I only worked there for a week until they stopped contacting me. Then I was hired at McDonald’s and worked there for about six months until I decided that I wanted to be treated better and make more money.

DJ’s Hope for Hearts surprised me with a gift card during 2012. I will never forget the kindness and concern given to me.

August of 2012, I started working as a bakery clerk at a grocery store. I had a lot of fun, but as time went on, things became increasingly hectic and difficult for me to keep up with by myself. In August of 2014, my kidneys were at 20% and I was beginning to have tired, dizzy, and dehydration spells. I was forgetting to check the temperatures of food more frequently and discovered that the heart by-pass machine used for my heart transplant effects my memory. Before I could turn in a doctor’s note on time, I was terminated. I was relieved because I thought that I could get proper help by filing a grievance. When I found out that they would not help me and that my grievance was denied, I was furious. I refused to put any effort further on working at such a company and began applying other places.

Applying became emotionally exhausting, and having had only two interviews, I began to lose hope more and more. Why this negativity is approaching me? I kept on wondering. I realize the urgency of having a job and that mycircumstances health condition are effecting affect my chances of getting one. With my hope, my health began to decline more. With my declining health my hope of getting job also declined. My blood pressure and cholesterol arelevel started increasing high, and level of iron and other nutrients started dipping low.

At present as a result of my kidneys failing, my BP and Cholesterol level is very high, while my iron and other nutrients are low, as a result of my kidneys failing. ,Mmy appetite can be horrible and fluctuating, I bruise easily, and feel tired and light-headed often.

For many months, I struggled to accept my reality and awoke in a new rage at my nightmare. I still struggle with it because I can’t picture my life in the future or how I will survive financially. I don’t like feeling helpless. It’s despairing. I’m torn between having a job that is tolerable or taking a huge risk in order to be happy. Currently, I’m in the process of being evaluated so I can be put on the list. All that is left to do is a heart biopsy May of 2015. It’s a waiting game that I have been anxious for from the beginning.

My life now consists of eating, sleeping, and overthinking. I miss having energy and enthusiasm. I sleep so much, I lose track of how long I sleep and my days bleed by. What day is it? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m one day closer to being able to do something about my life. I will get through this.

Life is about being positive, striving to happy and live with self-esteem. I am a strong girl. I will not fail the young boy and his family who donated his heart and thought of other’s happiness during their misery. I draw strength from them, my family, Tony my boyfriend and scores of people who have been with me during my low and high times. I will live a long happy life bereft of misery and negativity.

Prom  Recovering

Len Merriman, Founding member of the board, DJ’s Hope for Hearts, conveys their forever support and strength to Emily : 

Emily K,
All of us at DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts Foundation are thankful for you allowing us to come into your life & follow your heart transplant journey for the past 4 years. We hope you nothing but the best with your continued journey’s and want you to know you we will always be with you on that journey.

You too can help Emily, and others like her. Please read more about how at this link

Life Is… By Mother Teresa

Life Is
By Mother Teresa

Life is an opportunity; benefit from it.
Life is a beauty; admire it.
Life is a dream; realize it.
Life is a challenge; meet it.
Life is a duty; complete it.
Life is a game; play it.
Life is a promise; fulfill it.
Life is sorrow; overcome it.
Life is a song; sing it.
Life is a struggle; accept it.
Life is a tragedy; confront it.
Life is an adventure; dare it.
Life is luck; make it.
Life is life; fight for it!

Emily Kopp’s tale of courage: The Surgery .. The Strength (Part 2)

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My chest was being painted with a cleaning solution for my transplant. It tickled and I was rooting more vehemently for the Browns because I was being painted orange. The original transplant day was scheduled for October 16, but the double checking of the heart pushed it to October 17. I was 17-years-old and had only been on the waiting list for 7 days. I didn’t realize how odd these numbers were yet, but I did realize how lucky I was. Some patients spend years and holidays waiting. I was the calmest person in the room. It was soothing to be surrounded by family and friends. I was ready to say goodbye to my bad heart. Goodbye water weight. Goodbye sores.

While hugging everyone before being wheeled into the operating room, I felt a small panic. “What if this is the last time everyone will see me?” I calmed myself by telling myself that I wouldn’t feel a thing. I would be in a two day coma. I made sure each hug was long, but had trust in the surgeons. I decided not to look back once inside and I remember how big the operating room was. I hopped up onto the operating table where they had me count backwards. Before I could finish counting, I was out. I remember they told me that when I would be half awake, they would ask me to move. I don’t remember moving.

The next thing I remember was that I was fighting to be awake. I had a difficult time trying to open my eyes and everything I could barely see appeared to be covered by a thin veil. It turns out that my eyes kept opening even when I wasn’t awake so they had to glue them shut. I felt like I was burning up with a fever. My feet could only move at first so I tried kicking off my blanket then I muttered, “it is too hot.” I don’t remember who I first saw when I woke up, but I think everyone was there waiting for me. I learned that everyone waiting wasn’t informed right away when I was done and that I was put in my room from back door backwards. Mary (Who is Mary Should be told sister/friend)didn’t sleep or leave my side. My dad had cried upon seeing everything that I was hooked up to.

I had a breathing tube in that I felt upon waking, tubes to drain the blood from my lungs, multiple infusions, pacemaker wires, and loads of tape. I thought that my heart was racing when I first woke up, but then I remembered how slow my heart had been. Even though I was loaded up with morphine, I could feel the tubes in my lungs digging into my back. When it was time to get the tubes removed, I was excited, but it was the most unpleasant thing I can remember experiencing. They had me take a deep breathe before pulling them. Despite the deep breathe that I took, I gasped, choked, and cringed in pain.

They say that transplant patients crave things that the donor liked. I was craving M&M cookies. I had to wait until I healed more until I could eat more foods. They let me have an M&M McFlurry.

I told the nurses that I didn’t mind being poked over and over again with needles, but I had an infusion put in the side of my bicep to insure that I didn’t get an infection. I had a pencil sized infusion in my groin already. I didn’t want to bend my leg and was afraid that I would accidentally pull the pacemaker wires that protruding from my body out. The worst part about getting the infusion in my bicep was the numbing process. The surgeons were asking me if I felt anything and they kept hitting a nerve in the process. It created the tingling sensation you feel when you smack your open hand on a table.

I was upset at the fact that I needed a permanent and rather bulky pacemaker because my new heart wasn’t beating fast enough. Taking medicine has never been a problem for me because I have always had to take medicine even as a child. I will continue to always have medicine for the rest of my life. There were new limitations that I hated, but had to accept. I would have to receive heart biopsies on a regular basis. I wished that there were other ways to check rejection levels. No more Mountain Dew. The grapefruit juice would interfere with my anti-rejection medicine. No standing in front of loud speakers or going through metal detectors. Electronic devices could interfere with my pacemaker. For my pacemaker surgery, I was fully conscious. I couldn’t feel the incision, but I did feel the pressure of the surgeons pounding my pacemaker in. The pacemaker scar hurt more than my transplant scar did. I was annoyed at the fact that I couldn’t lift my arm for a while in order to keep the pacemaker in place. I had some of the most vivid dreams and got to spend my Halloween in the hospital. It was exciting to get a whole pillowcase full of candy from everyone there.

CorpseBride     CorpseBride2

I was allowed to walk a short distance with a wireless heart monitor. I loved to sit and watch the tropical fish in one of the waiting rooms. One day, I noticed a large family grouped together. They were crying. I learned that Denzel Douglas’ heart was failing and it was too late. He was only 16 years old. I had survivor’s guilt and cried for them. I thought about how knowing for certain when you would die would feel peaceful and horrifying. I wanted to comfort them somehow, but thought I would only make it worse.

I recovered relatively quickly and was able to go home. The tingling sensation remained for a whole month. Everyone who came in the house had to wash their hands and I couldn’t go out anywhere for three months. My dad wrote a letter to the donor family. I wanted to write to express my gratitude, but felt like I would be reopening a wound. My donor was a twenty year old male who died in a motorcycle accident.

I was home schooled poorly, but still managed to catch up when I did go back to school. It was upsetting that I had to withdraw from my chemistry class because it was the only class I shared with my boyfriend, Tony. My chemistry teacher was very fond of me and was all praises for my will power and positive approach throughout my recovery period.  trying and recovering. I learned that people spread rumors at school that I died. It was humbling and amusing.

I was extremely anxious to finally kiss Tony. He earned immense trust by staying with me I started respecting him more because he loved me despite of my medical conditions. We kept glancing over at each other while watching South Park late at night. Our eyes met and he said, “Hi.” “Hi”, I responded with and then finally leaned in. It was passionate and long overdue. I could finally return to normal life.

For many who do not have other complications life goes on normally, with in the frame work of limitation, which is as good as having a new life altogether. I wish I was one amongst them.(I fell this should be end of part one of the story which tell about the fight of young girl to get normal life. This end would make the readers curious about what happened later.)

I am Yet Positive Towards life. I will not fail my donor. I am a strong girl.

Read more about Emily here.

Creamy Mushroom Soup: A healthy treat!!

Creamy Mushroom Soup

This version of creamy  mushroom soup is cooked in just ten minutes, has very low fat content, and is as yummy as it can get. With rich creamy texture of mushrooms, sweetness of mushrooms and milk balanced by salt and hint of pepper.

Recipe Particulars:

  • Servings: Around 500 ml
  • Preparation Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 10 mins
  • Recipe Credit: The recipe was taken from here to promote healthy eating. We are deeply grateful to the author for posting the same: You are helping us encourage a healthy heart 🙂.
  • Approximate Nutrition Facts: Calories: 250, Proteins: 20.9-21..98 gm, Carbs: 25.7-25.8 gm, Fat : 5.4-5.5gm (Taking low fat milk with 5 gm/500 ml fat content), Fibers: 1.2 gm, Sugar: 27.01 gm,
    • Micro nutrients from Mushrooms: B2: 0.3 mg, Niacin equivalent: 3.7 mg,  Biotin: 8.9 mg, Folate: 18 mg,  Vitamin D: 10-15 gm in sun exposed mushrooms, Vitamin A; 21% ( from milk), Copper: 342 mg; Selenium: 15.4 mg, Phosphorous: 110 mg, Potassium: 310 mg; Chromium:13.4 mg, Calcium 62% (from milk ).
    • The values are not exact but approximate estimation, as taken from different source from internet. The nutritional value will change slightly with the type of mushrooms taken and type of low fat milk taken to make the soup.
  • This is a Recipe from Jyotsna Pant’s Blog. Refer to the blog for complete recipe with Pictures, suggestions and tips.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 200 gm, Button Mushrooms.
  • 500 ml Milk ( This recipe has used low fat milk)
  • 3-4 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon White Pepper Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt or to taste

Recipe Directions:

  • Wash mushrooms under flowing water.
  • Chop Mushrooms to pieces.
  • Divide the chopped Mushrooms to 2 parts. Pulse one part of chopped Mushrooms to fine paste.
  • Keep aside for further use. No water is required to pulse mushrooms.
  • Pulse the rest half of the mushrooms to a near coarse paste without adding water.
  • Boil milk in a thick bottom pan and when the milk comes to boil bring the heat to low, add the paste of mushrooms and cook with continuous stirring.
  • After cooking for a minute or so add the coarse paste of mushrooms and again cook on low heat with continuous stirring for just one minute. This is sufficient time for the coarsely pulsed mushroom pieces to cook.
  • Shred basil leafs with hands and add to the milk mushroom mixture.
  • Switch off the heat and add white pepper powder. In case white pepper powder is not available black pepper powder also can be used.
  • Mix and add salt to taste and mix.
  • Cover and let it stand for a minute or so for the flavor of pepper and basil to mingle with mushroom.
  • Serve it piping hot. You can warm it up again before serving.

Emily Kopp’s tale of courage: How it started…

My name is Emily Kopp and this is part of my story…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/15938385139

It was 2004 and the end of summer when everyone at Thome gymnastics began our nonstop run to the park. I was 14-years old. As we reached the top of a hill, I began to feel unusually exhausted. I didn’t think much of it at first and decided to push myself further with words of encouragement from Coach Brian. I thought that I was simply a little out of shape from not being as active as I had been. My broken wrist and fear of balance beam was to blame for that in my mind. I felt guilty. When we reached the park, I didn’t want to leave. It was quiet and I was cooling down in a fountain. I had fun kicking and splashing while sitting barefoot.

It wasn’t until we ran back to the gym that I realized that something must be wrong and that I might be sick with something. I was out of breath. My dad noticed when it was time to go home Later that day, I walked up the stairs at home and felt extremely out of breath that I thought I was going to faint. I collapsed on the floor.Everything around me was spinning and I felt far too weak to get up. Looking up caused a wash of sickness. I thought I was going to die. This lasted for about ten seconds. It was terrifying and made me realize that a doctor’s visit was absolutely mandatory. To me, it was nothing that a trip to the doctor’s couldn’t fix

Doctor sent home with a heart recording monitor that I had to wear all day and was pleased to not have to wear the recording wires at night. It was annoying and uncomfortable to wear even just with the stickers. They wanted me to keep a journal to mark whenever I felt exhausted and what activity I was doing. I remember getting questions from my fellow classmates in grade school. They seemed concerned. I liked and appreciated their curiosity and concern, and was looking forward to getting it off and be over with.

After my heart recordings were reviewed, the cardiologists decided to do an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound plus recording of the heart. My mom, dad, and I were all waiting in a room together for the results. At first, I was having a hard time paying attention and listening to what the doctor was saying because I still didn’t feel it was that a serious matter. My parents were mostly listening without speaking anything. Then I remember the feeling of dread in the room as Doctor Boyle looked at and talked to me more. There’s no easy way to break this kind of news: I had cardiomyopathy. My heart was enlarged and my heartbeat was irregular and slow. I would eventually need a heart transplant. How does anyone begin to process this all? I wasn’t scared or shocked. I felt numb compared to everyone in the room. No one in my family had heart disease. It felt like we were in that room forever and I just wanted to leave.

If I didn’t had not already considered quitting gymnastics before this, the news would have been absolutely devastating. I had already shed my tears for giving up something that was a huge part of my life. The guilt I had felt turned into the inevitable reality. in an attempt to fill the void I took jazz and ballet classes for a while. in an attempt to fill the void. It was fun, but I eventually decided that my health couldn’t take it anymore.

I remember begging my dad to let me go with him on his bike ride to the lake so we could watch the sunset. I told him that I wouldn’t hold him up. After I convinced him, unfortunately, I had to stop half way through. He was upset, understandably so. When we arrived home, we talked about my condition and how my dad thought it would eventually go away on its own. As much as I wanted that to be true, I knew it wasn’t.

My heart rate was 40 beats per minute. I couldn’t walk without feeling out of breath. I had to avoid drinking plain water because my body would retain it. Walking up stairs was a grueling task. I was huffing, puffing, and heaving with multiple heavy text books. The locations of my classes were nowhere near my locker so I had to carry them all. I was huffing, puffing, and heaving with multiple heavy text books.

Everything was overwhelming. I experienced my first heartbreak, attempted suicide, lost support of friends, and ultimately became depressed. Life changed completely for me. Eventually, my right heart valve stopped opening and closing. I felt as if no one understood or cared about me, period, though it was not so. My family was extremely caring and supportive, yet those who go through the pain can only understand it. No one seemed to truly understand how difficult my heart condition made things. “Imagine having a constant asthma attack” I would say. I gained a lot of water weight and developed sores on my wrists and ankles. My self-esteem suffered greatly.

Walking home from high school during summer was the worst. I always dragged behind and others were always impatient. I tried getting bus passes, but didn’t qualify because I wasn’t far enough to get them for free. It was still a far walk for me. A kind friend, Isaah would offer me his bus passes sometimes. That air conditioning felt like a huge breath of relief. God bless Isaah.

Late August of in 2007, had one of the hottest days I can remember. We had these strange pizza quesadillas that were my favorite, for lunch. Afterwards, I started feeling feverish and nauseous and eventually threw up in the nurse bathroom. Needless to say, I wasn’t fond of those pizza quesadillas anymore. I forgot to mention to the nurse that I had a heart condition so when he listened to my heart, he freaked out and started calling people. My heart rate was 40 beats per minute. I had told him that my heart felt like it was racing. It really did feel racing compared to my normal at the time.

I was admitted to The Cleveland Clinic that same day and was told that I was staying until I had the heart transplant. Part of me felt relaxed because I would be closely watched and cared for by professional people. It was happening then. Conflicting thought and emotions were troubling me. At the same time, I was saddened by the realization that someone would have to die so that I could live. It felt selfish.I was put on an experimental infusion drug to change my heart rate so I could get further up on the waiting list.

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Within six days, they found a heart. When Doctor Boyle came into the room to inform me, I was so busy playing Pikmin on the GameCube that I didn’t hear what he was saying. Then Nurse Colleen came in to ask me if I was excited. “Excited for what?” When she told me about availability of heart I found out, I was thrilled. I did feel a little bad for alienating Doctor Boyle.

Read More about Emily here.

Choose To Be Happy: A lovely poem By Marlene Rose

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/13283510393

Poem Credit : The poem was copied from this source

Choose To Be Happy
By Marlene Rose

Choose to be happy,
Choose to feel great,
Choose not to let things make you irate.

I know that some people are not feeling great,
And I know that some people just know how to hate.
And I wish that all people could be healthy and strong,
And I wish that all people would just get along.

If wands could be waved,  and the world would be cured,
I’d wave that big wand, you can be assured.
But I’ll do what I can every day I am here,
And try to remember “the good,” year to year.

And I choose to be happy,
And I choose to feel great,
And I choose not to let things make me irate!