Kimberly Goodloe - Why Heart Valve Awareness Day Is Important to Me
I look forward to celebrating Heart Valve Awareness Day because I’m a survivor.
Eight years ago, I received a phone call from my cardiologist that changed my life forever.
I was born with an abnormal heart valve and developed symptoms at age 42. I notified my doctor, a test was ordered and then I received a mechanical valve. Four days later, I developed heart blockage. The doctor informed my family that I would need a pacemaker to help my heart function. A year later, my third surgery took place - a pace maker revision. My fourth surgery took place on December 21st, 2015; I received new batteries in my pace maker.
I now travel locally and out-of-state advocating for the uninsured and sharing my journey of the heart.
One of the important parts of my recovery has been to use my gift of service. I hope to empower other patients by sharing my story - encouraging them to track their symptoms, develop a relationship with their medical team, connecting them with free resources, advocating for uninsured people, connecting with hospitals, and raising funds to support medical research. I even began a collage project to promote awareness, celebrate my recovery from four surgeries and honor every family affected by heart/stroke disease.
So many people are suffering in silence and need encouragement. I thank God for giving me the courage to share my story of triumph and healing throughout the community.
My words of encouragement to anyone facing health issues -
Pray daily, focus on positive thoughts, take it one day at a time, and never, never lose hope.