Courtney Flinchum’s Story

Heart Failure Survivor, Age 29, Greensboro, NC

Gives and receives support

Courtney's Story

The moment I was born it was apparent something was not right. I came out blue, instantly earning me the nickname Smurfette. Turns out I had a hole in my heart. Well, at 3 months old I underwent a shunt operation to keep me alive. At 4 years old I underwent open heart surgery to correct the issue. For years everything was well. I had a lot less energy than everyone around me due to the fact that I only have one working lung… otherwise, I was a perfectly normal youth. Cut to November of last year. A simple cold lands me in the hospital for a little under two weeks coughing up cups of bright red blood. Diagnosis? Pulmonary hypertension and stage 4 right sided heart failure. Oh, I’m 27 years old, by the way. So a couple days ago I go see my new pulmonary doctor. I’m on oxygen indefinitely. I am taking a multitude of medications… all to avoid having open heart surgery yet again. I have a very leaky valve & it’s looking like I’ll have to have further surgery to correct the leak. Through it all though I’ve stayed positive and tried to maintain the upbeat personality I’ve always had. Some days are harder than others, but I know that I will eventually come out of this as healthy as possible. I have faith,

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Courtney is interested in giving and receiving support from other women with heart disease. Contact her if you'd like to give and receive support.


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