Heart to Heart
Heart to Heart

After surviving a rare coronary artery dissection and massive heart attack while nine months pregnant, Nefertari has devoted her life to uplifting other heart patients and promoting heart health awareness.

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Vacationing with Heart Disease

My desire to meet Mickey Mouse earned a spot in my top three "must do/see" list after I had my heart attack.

The idea of visiting Disney World in Orlando, Florida was well-received in my home, especially since my dear friend Ericka offered my family a Villa in Florida for a week, which made this trip even more desirable.

The drive from New Jersey to Florida was estimated to be about 18 hours according to my GPS. With five kids and a pup in tow, I was not sure how this was going to work.

We made it to Orlando only 6 hours past our deadline thanks to the very frequent rest stops and breaks. I knew that my water pills were doing their job when I was at home back in New Jersey, but until I was trapped in a vehicle staring directly at a clock, I had no idea just how frequently I made use of the facilities.

Everyone was beyond excited to get to our destination, and the excitement continued as we reached and settled into our beautiful Villa.

We chose to settle in for a couple of days and take in some shopping before actually visiting the park. Everything was going smoothly until I realized that Florida's 85 degrees is very different from New Jersey's 85 degrees, especially since I was already battling fatigue, heart failure, and mild mid-summer vacation regret.

In spite of it all, my desire to meet Mickey Mouse never dwindled, and I was able to regain a spark of energy once I exited the monitor rail that carried us from the entrance to the park itself. 

It wasn't until I entered Disney World and had my very first peek at the Magic Kingdom that I felt the butterflies.It was breathtaking. As a child that grew up thinking this experience would never come to fruition, I was simply amazed by the sight.

Although I was unable to scurry quickly to the door to enter the castle, I allowed my children to do just that.The smiles on their faces were priceless.

When I first had my heart attack the doctors weren't sure of my fate, so they advised me to go home, take good care of my children and to try to take a vacation.At the time that seemed impossible. I could not see myself taking more than four steps past my bedroom due to my heart failure, anemia, and depression.

Yet there I was four years later, with my children and Mickey Mouse. I actually lived and experienced a dream come true, which was, to say the least, magical.

I tell everyone, don't wait until you have had a life-threatening experience to enjoy and live your life's dreams. Make plans and do your best to make your dreams come true now -- while you can enjoy them.

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About the Author

After surviving a heart attack, Nefertari has devoted her life to promoting heart health awareness.

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