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Dardi Hammonds’s Story

Congenital Heart Disease Survivor, Age 48, Reno, NV

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Dardi' Story

At the tender age of one, my grandmother noticed I had a heart murmur. Well at this age, she suggested my parents take me to a doctor to get it checked out. I needed a heart surgery which apparently could not be performed until I was older. So at age 4, I had a Tetralogy of Fallot diagnosed in 1971 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The surgery is usually a combo of situations: heart murmur, hole in heart, little to no pulmonary valve and enlarged heart. I was 1 of 20 of than experimental surgeries. Or at least that’s what I was told.   Back in 1999, I was working for a service deli feeling fatigued and tired all the same time, looking grayish, no color and not well. Thought it was work, but it was not..it was my health. So another surgery was scheduled for me. Originally it was to be late October of 2001, but with the way I felt, I suggested to my mother it get moved up if at all possible. So On October 18th a week prior, in 2001 at age 34 I had another surgery.  This surgery was to repair the right pulmonary valve with a donor part. (To repair partial valve from the 1st surgery). It was performed at UCSF, San Francisco, California. As the team of Pediatric and Adult Cardiologists, surgeons and nurses tested me from head to toe with cat scans, mri’s and the works before surgery only to find that while I was on the table I almost died from a pulmonary aneurysm that was ready to burst open.  Thank God, Prayer, Family and Medicine from 1971 to today that I am a walking, living, breathing Miracle as my Mother, Daphne McGovern has always said. Well, since my 2nd lease and opportunity on life I have learned to educated myself and others around me to a healthier lifestyle through Go Red for Women, Exercise, and so much more including a new job I love. I am also a recovering alcoholic/addict and should not have had that in my life and proud to say it’s 7 1/2 years that I’m Sober and Blessed by God with my new life.

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Dardi 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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