Ella, also known as @Zippergal on instagram, shares her account of the last 6 years of her life as a young person born with a heart condition. (CHD).
6 years ago today – 24/4/15 – my life changed forever.
“That evening I went into SVT for the first time, home alone sitting on the sofa. 5 hours of unsuccessful attempts to revert my 350bpm heart rate, having my heart stopped 6 times, my blood pressure dropping dangerously low, and eventually I was rushed in an ICU ambulance up to the Evelina.

That day marks the beginning of endless diagnoses, doctors, hospital stays, surgeries and treatments. Problems with my heart turned into problems with my lungs, ears, stomach and cells that no doctors could have predicted. My talents turned from singing and dancing to obtaining hospital wifi codes within minutes of arrival and sneaking out of hospital to find brownies.

The person I was, the person I hoped to become, everything I thought I knew, disappeared in the blink of an eye. Things that I took for granted – school, friends, being able to walk, sing, dance, my future – were gone. Even my physical appearance became foreign to me, with the constant addition of scars and fluctuation of weight due to meds and ops.

6 years and a whole lot of medical crap, teenage drama and soul searching later, here I am. I have travelled across the world, formed friendships that will last a life time and started university, alongside 16 operations, multiple medical complications, and beginning a medical trial that is finally starting to give me my breath back. I am stronger, happier and more fulfilled than I ever thought possible. I have laughed and danced through heartache and pain surrounded by beautiful people who give me strength everyday.

Here’s to everyone out there LIVING with heart disease. And here’s to the people that keep us going ❤️”  ~ View ZipperGal’s original Instagram post here.

If you would like to become a member of The Somerville Foundation and help us to continue making a difference in young people’s lives, please sign up here.  Special thanks to Ella for sharing her amazing story!