Yasmin  Southwood

Yasmin Southwood

I am 28 years old and have a heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot. I was also born with a pinhole in my heart. I have had two open-heart surgeries, one when I was 3 and the other when I was 20. When I found out that I was supposed to have another open-heart surgery, I freaked out. My anxiety was very high, and I was slowly having anxiety attacks that eventually led to a nervous breakdown. After my surgery I was very scared to do what I would normally, like roller blade, ride a bike, or even hang out with friends. I will admit I have Survivor's Guilt. I see others with congenital heart defects passing away or struggling and I ask myself why I was allowed to live. My friend lost her 3-year old to a congenital heart defect and I cried saying that it should have been me. I feel terrible about living when others have lost their lives. Sometimes I ask “why me?” It scares me when meeting someone new, starting a new school, a new job because I wonder, “Will they judge me?”