Jacqueline Avalon was born with a #CongenitalHeartDefect known as #VentricularSeptalDefect , which means there was a hole on the septal wall that separates the two ventricles of the heart. She's now a nurse at Cedars-Sinai. Hear more about her journey.
So I was born with a condition called ventricular septal defect. It is a condition where there is a hole on the septal wall that separates my two ventricles. Normally babies would have this kind of condition and as they grow older the holes would close up. Unfortunately mine did not close up. So I grew up here in California up until the age of 12. Um from 12 years old up to the age of 22 I was in the Philippines. So I went to the nursing school in the Philippines. It wasn't until nursing school where I learned the different conditions of the heart where I realized that it was something that I needed to have it fixed. And I knew that I was want to come back to California. So I researched on what are the top hospitals in California that have a really good cardiology program. And lo and behold I found out about cedars. I just knew that cedars would be the hospital that can fix me. And I just knew in my heart that I wanted to work for that place. So my experience with cedars. Sinai has been one of the best and challenging as well. So in october I remember I was sitting in the break room with my fellow nurses. And as I was sitting I just felt this sharp chest pain. It was something definitely not normal to me. I was always used to having palpitations here and there. But having chest pain was there's something different about it. I just felt like there was something wrong I decided to check myself into the E. D. So after the E. D. I was admitted as an inpatient and Dr Rose Tompkins recommended me to have heart surgery right away. So they recommended me to Dr Richard kim who's a pediatric cardio surgeon. So the surgery was a success. He was able to patch my two holes in my heart and also he was able to do a couple of repairs that needed to be addressed due to my condition. I'm just incredibly thankful for all the nurses who took care of me and I just don't know how to repay them back. They they've extended my life and not only did I get a gift of life, I also got a gift of a family. It's kind of surreal that it happened like I would wake up every day like my heart's normal. It's weird. It's incredibly weird but also exhilarating and just seeing like you know I I do have my scar here. I feel like it's such an important scar to me. Like it's my own battle scar that the scar showed me that I'm still living and I choose to and I choose to be strong every day. So I finally feel that I am strong mentally physically emotionally. I just feel that I finally am. I've gotten. I've gotten to this point in my life where I just feel like Sky's the limit. Nothing can stop me now