A fighter from the moment I was born until today. The journey began at 7 months of age- barely surviving and living. Can you imagine me being a blue baby? Seeing a precious baby in hand, you only wish for good health and lots of love. So imagine my parent’s surprise- knowing their precious daughter was born with a congenital heart condition known as Tetrology of Fallot. Tetrology of Fallot can easily be defined as a hole in the heart. Luckily, I am from Toronto, where I received the best medical care from the Hospital for Sick Kids. Known as my 2nd home, since I spent my early years fighting for the courage to live. To hold onto every ounce of my being.
My name is Rina and I was born in the early 80s in Toronto. The place I like to call my forever home. My earliest childhood memories were being a kid and playing with my friends in school. It’s like I experience amnesia and everything was wipes out when I was a baby. The stories my mother told me of how she was there for me around the clock during my time in the hospital.
Wow, if I could count the number of times I had a surgical procedure done, I probably would lose counts.
- 7 months old- Shunt
- 2 years of age- open heart surgery- 8 hours.
- 2 years of age- another surgery to help fix my rib-cage. After the opened heart surgery, since my rib-cage was tightly closed
- 15 years of age – Implanted Defibrillator
- 25 years of age – replacement of the defibrillator- minor surgery
- 33 years of age- opened heart surgery- to replace the valve.
As a heart warrior hero- I felt it was my duty to help raise awareness for the heart. A place I like to call the Heart and Stroke Foundation. As a student at Algonquin College in 2008, I used to do my internship at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. My proud moment of working with this charity was not only to raise funds but to also to share my personal experience. February is heart month, and I helped create 2 events for the organization which happens to be a smashing success.
My current status
Seeing how my life turned out today, I never thought I would be lucky to be alive. Being married, working, and traveling, is not something I thought I would reach. At birth, I was known as the lucky ones. If I didn’t have my heart repaired, I wouldn’t have survived my childhood years. Every moment on earth is precious and I am very grateful to be alive. Years to come, I just keep my head held high and enjoy what life has to offer.
Do you have a heartwarming story that you would like to share?