Before I share my story I would like to thank you guys for your service, and all that you do. I’m usually a pretty private person, but I’ve thought about sharing my story for a while. It took someone I knew to point out to me all that I’ve gone through to finally convince me to share this story.
My Never Quit story begins when I was born, in the middle of a cold Michigan winter. As soon as I was born, the doctors knew there was something very wrong with me. I wasn’t crying, and more importantly, I was blue. My mother was allowed to hold me for a few seconds before I was whisked away to the Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). After what must have seemed like years for my parents, the doctors came back and told them that I was born with a very rare heart condition called Transposition of the Great Arteries. This condition causes the Aorta to pump oxygenated blood to the heart, and the Pulmonary Artery to pump deoxygenated blood to the rest of my body. In simpler terms, my heart wasn’t pumping the right blood to the right places, and because of this, my body was starving for oxygen. After this was explained to my parents, they were told that I needed to be operated on if I wanted any chance of survival. However, since the procedure was relatively new, only a few hospitals in the country offered it. My parents chose to send me to the University of Michigan for my surgery because they were the best at this complicated procedure. I was originally supposed to take a helicopter over to Ann Arbor, but due to a blizzard, we were forced to take an Ambulance instead. The surgery went great, and at 17 years old I am now living a healthy and active life. I play Varsity Tennis for my high school, as well as run on the Track team, and I have dreams of becoming a Federal Agent so I can serve this great nation in my own way.
I also hope to start training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu soon. Most people who undergo the procedure I did need at least one corrective surgery. I haven’t, and hopefully never will. While this is not my only Never Quit story, it is certainly the most important. Every other challenge I have faced down, I have attacked with the mindset of “I cheated death as a newborn. What CAN’T I do?” I would like to thank all of you again for your service, and giving others the ability to share their story.