American Heart Association’s Survivor Class 2017: Meet Sarah Milograno
Meet the last member of the "Go Red Survivor Class 2017," Sarah Milograno. Sarah shares her heart-defect story with us...
Actually it's more than one defect, Sarah was born with four different heart defects. The problems started when she was very young. At two-years-old, Sarah had a hard time sleeping. In the video (above), she explains that her parents thought she was having night terrors. But she didn't get better. Sarah started having problems breathing and that's when her parents knew something wasn't right, although no one knew how serious it really was. In the video, Sarah explains
...they thought it was pneumonia, and they brought me to the doctor's. I went to a cardiac specialist who told my parents I was actually in congestive heart failure at that point.
Sarah had to have surgery to try and fix holes in the top chambers of her heart. When she was five, she had to have three more surgeries. The last surgery included replacing one of her heart valves with an artificial one. That's a lot for one kid to go through, and all at the age of five. But it didn't end there, Sarah was also put on blood thinners and had a pacemaker. She says being on blood thinners changed everything...
I really couldn't do as many sports and activities like the rest of the kids. I tried! I tried to do everything else, but obviously injury was more serious for me.
During Sarah's senior year in high school, she noticed she started having trouble just walking from one class to the next. She had outgrown the artificial valve that was put in when she was five and had to have surgery again. But now that she was older, this one was more high-risk. Her doctors didn't expect her to recover fast, probably taking her about a month before she would be ready to leave the hospital...
She went home in a week.
Sarah explains that she was really "motivated to go home." In the video (above) she also says she's able to do more than she was growing up because of the new pacemaker.
When most people think of heart issues, they think of adults or they think of their grandparents or older members of their family. But heart disease and issues do not discriminate. It doesn't matter if you're two, 22, or 72... Heart issues can affect anyone. And that's one of the reasons Sarah is proud to be a part of the "Go Red Survivor Class 2017." She says it's empowering to be a part of the group and it gives her the opportunity to share her story. She can show people that heart issues don't just affect the elderly, or those who've spent a lifetime NOT taking care of their health and their heart.
The "Go Red for Women" campaign asks you to find your "why." What do you want to be around for? Who do you want to be around for? This is your "why." Sarah says her future is her why. Take a moment to think of yours.
Coming up next week is a very special event, the “Go Red for Women Luncheon” at Daniele’s Banquet Specialists in New Hartford. It will be an afternoon of survivor stories (and the entire “2017 Survivor Class” will be featured), heart attack and disease information, and will bring awareness to women’s heart health. Please join us for the luncheon on Wednesday, May 3rd from noon to 1pm.