At only a few months old, doctors conveyed the heart breaking news to my parents that I had a congenital heart defect, which needed immediate surgery to fix the hole they discovered in the wall between my heart’s lower chambers. I underwent open heart surgery to fix my Ventricular septal defect. Over time, I realized that not every child had a large scar on their chest like I did. I understood that this scar made me unique. Later on, I discovered that only about 1% of babies are born with CHD (congenital heart disease) each year.
As I grew older, I began to research about other people who had experienced similar struggles. I learned that students with CHD faced more challenges in their educational journey compared to those without the condition. According to the National Library of Medicine, children with CHD are 1.24 times more likely to not meet the academic standards in math or reading. Learning this information sparked my passion of finding a way to support these students in their education.