My name is Jaime Lynn
I am CEO/Founder of Imperfectly Perfect
Here is my story…
I am 29 years old and was born with congenital heart disease, specifically Tetrology of Fallot which is a four-defect condition. I have had five different heart surgeries at 19 months old, 7 years old, 9 years old, 23 years old and 28 years old. Two of these surgeries, ages 19 months old & 28 years old; were Open Heart Surgery. I had an out of body experience when I was 7 years old, my body emptied almost completely of my blood. I was an on the spot emergency and survived only because of the transfusion I received from my father who was steps away. I saw the white light, met my great grandmother and lived to speak about it….so here is my story!
I have used my heart condition, as a catalyst for self-love, mindfulness, spirituality and inspiration. I realized at very young age that I was different. Maybe it was because of my heart surgeries, maybe it was due to my incredible relationship with my Mom; whatever it was, allowed me to grow up with an extreme sense of passion for not only helping others, but connecting with them, nurturing the relationship and truly using my experiences and knowledge to help them in their life. This being the foundation of my being; allowed me the inspiration to create an organization in 2011 called Imperfectly Perfect.
Although there are many positives to my situation, like any little girl growing up with Heart Disease, I had my share of fears or worries as well. I had my fair share of procedures, doctors appointments, halter tests, exercise stress tests and hospital stays which all made me nervous and uncomfortable…and honestly, it made me feel different. Luckily, my family has always supported me, so I was always able to communicate my fears and get reassured which quickly dissolved them. As I got older, and even until my last surgery, my scar was always a worry of mine. Thankfully, after my last open heart surgery and having a fresh new scar- it really put my worries into perspective. A scar is just that, a scar. A mark which tells the world your strength and your story, and as long as we are proud of it and embrace it, our scar becomes our shield; serving as a reminder that we are, pardon my language, BAD ASS!. We can take on the world the way we have taken on heart disease!
My goal for sharing my story is because I hope that what I have been through can shed some light on other peoples lives. I have learned so many different lessons about myself and about life, that it makes me proud to have gone through this journey of heart disease; and that is what I want others with CHD to realize. Our difficult experiences, truly shape us and teach us lessons we could never have learned elsewhere so we need to be proud of them.
Besides giving me the inspiration to create Imperfectly Perfect, my heart disease has provided me with increased awareness and a special perspective on life. I genuinely believe my attitude towards life is the way it is, because I know just how easily life can end. I do not spend my time worrying about smaller issues which normally bother people, because I know what BIG issues feel like and how they affect our lives. I believe in living each day to the fullest, living a healthy lifestyle, exercising to make sure I have a healthy heart, and never taking a day for granted because any day I wake up, feel good, and can live my life by my own design; is a good day!
My advice to anyone who is going through their journey with heart disease, would be to stay focused. Heart disease is a life long disease that requires the necessary tools such as good nutrition/diet, exercise, a good support system and knowledge. It is important to push ourselves daily and to surround ourselves with the right influences. Its important to get into the heart disease community, to know others who are in your shoes, and to build the relationships that will last a lifetime!