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Grant Bronson
2/6 discussion
Fri Feb 6, 2015 4:12pm
66.87.133.19

​I can strongly identify with Friedrich Nietszche’s quote “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” in many aspects of my life. The most obvious and relevant to this quote being the need to undergo heart surgery.
​I was born with a heart defect. The day after I was born, my father noticed that I was breathing irregularly fast. He let the nurse know and she assured him that it wasn’t abnormal for new-borns to breathe heavily, but she told him “if you’re concerned, we’re concerned.” A Neonatologist was called in and was unable to find a pulse in my feet. He immediately notified the cardiologist at the hospital and discovered that I had a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and a significantly large hole in between the two chambers in my heart. Two congenial heart failures, two extensive, open-heart surgeries and two weeks later, my parents took me home for the first time. While I obviously don’t remember any of this, the lasting impacts and limitations heavily affected the rest of my life.
​When I was growing up, I dealt with a lot of confusion and frustration when it came to just simply being a kid. Due to my open-heart surgeries, my heart was much closer to my chest bone than the normal person. Any sort of blunt force or trauma to my chest could puncture my aortic valve and cut off the blood flow to my heart. With that potentially lethal risk in mind, my parents were extremely hesitant in allowing me to play any kind of sports when I was younger. My cardiologist had told them I would never be allowed to play any contact sports, ride roller coasters, lift weights or eat the skin on chicken. Now, I know those might seem like strange limitations, but they all had a medical reasons to justify why I was unable to do those things. Additionally, you might ask yourself “well that’s not such a bad deal? I don’t think I’d have a problem giving up those things?” Put yourself in ten year old’s shoes and imagine hearing that you couldn’t play football with your friends, go to Kings Dominion, or eat chicken nuggets. Absolutely devastating.
​ My parents have always been extremely overprotective of me and I didn’t fully understand the severity of my condition until high school. I realized that I was lucky to be alive and shouldn’t focus on the things that limit me, but focus on the things that I am able to do now in good health. I chose this quote because it really does resonate in my life. Although I was never able to be the sports stud I always wanted to be, I felt my limitations made me stronger as an individual because I could still be happy doing other things. I might be physically limited, but my limitless mental, emotional and spiritual strengths are what define me.

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