It is my pleasure to write this introductory piece to Connected By Hearts, created by amazing members and staff of Parent Heart Watch.
In 2008 at the age of 25, I unexpectedly was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia called Wolff Parkinson White. Up until that age, there were many warning signs to let me know that something was amiss with my body. But because I didn’t know any differently and because I didn’t know anyone young with a heart abnormality, I never once thought there was something wrong with me. I fought for over six months with symptoms that I would not wish on anyone and I am very fortunate to have the outcome that I have today. As a result, I have been thinking hard over the past three years about how I can help others who may be going through a similar situation. Connected By Hearts will serve as one outlet for me to do so.
I hope that Connected By Hearts will serve as a platform in which kids can connect with others to share stories, laughter, and hope. I wanted Connected By Hearts when I was 25 because I needed to hear from someone who had been through what I was about to go through. In my situation, I was very lucky to have a Physicians Assistant to serve in this capacity. For kids who do not have a such a support network, my hope is that the networking available through Connected By Hearts will grant you access to people who can say, “we’ve been through this too and we can share with you how we got through it.”
Connected By Hearts will feature blog posts from young people who are advocating for heart health awareness, education, and change. You will read stories from survivors who are looking to give back to the larger community. And, you will have access to education and contact information that may assist you as you fight your own battle.
But most of all, everything on this site is being created by young people. I suppose I’m getting relatively old at 28 years but I’ll be around as long as I can still help. 🙂 The majority of the content is being created by kids and young adults who know what it’s like to have a heart problem at a young age and what it means to grow up with that heart problem.
I encourage you to get in contact with us, to share your story, and to offer advice to us. How can we help you? This is very new and we’re filling a void that we feel needs attention. For me personally, I am thrilled to know that there is now an organized way for a child with a heart problem to connect with someone who may have had a similar experience.
You’re not alone. We’re here to offer support and information to you.