Hi I am Sharifah Abdullah and I am 36 years old. I live in Jacksonville FL. I will like to share my story with you I am a survivor with heart valve disease. May 29,2020 I had open heart surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital. June of 2019 I started having breathing problems while sleeping and getting shortness of breath. I made a appointment with my primary doctor and I explained what was going on after explaining she prescribed me a medication for anxiety she said I was suffering from that and take the medication for 2 months. I was taking the medication daily I was still having breathing problems at night while sleeping after the 2 months I went back to the doctor she then referred me to a heart doctor. After meeting with my heart doctor he also said I was having anxiety and put me on a sleep monitor for 2 days after 2 days of being on the sleep monitor the results showed nothing and I was told to continue to take my medication for anxiety. I continue to take the medication and I was still struggling with breathing at night and having shortness of breath while sleeping. August of 2019 I went back to my heart doctor and he put me on a sleep monitor for a week the results showed nothing and I was still told I was having anxiety. I still continue to take my medication and nothing was changing with my condition. November 2019 I went back to my heart doctor and he did a echo test on me and the results showed that my valve in my heart was leaking and that why I was having trouble breathing and my blood was flowing the wrong way. My Doctor then explained to me that I might have to had open heart surgery but they will continue to monitor my vale. March of 2020 I went to my heart doctor for a follow up he informed me that my vale was not going to get better and that I had to have the surgery. I didn't know what to expect or what to tell my family ok how to explain to my 9 year old Son that his Mom has to have open heart surgery. I was definitely scared and didn't want the surgery more scared of thinking what if I don't wake up after the surgery. I knew I had to have this surgery in order to live a better life because going to sleep at night worrying about not waking up because I was having trouble breathing is definitely scared. The recovery time from my surgery is 6 to 8 weeks. After being in the hospital for 6 days I was ready to go home and see my Son. After coming home from the hospital I definitely had to take it easy no lifting,no pulling and no bending down. I also had to sleep on my back for 6 weeks until the pain ease up some. My 5th week of recovery I started walking 2 miles every morning to stay active. Before the surgery I was very active in the gym. I did yoga and cycling ever week and I also ran. It's now September and I am doing great i still have some pain in my chest but that's to be expected for another 3 months. I plan on going back to work Monday, Sept 14. I hope my story helps someone. Thank you again for allowing me to share my story.