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Spotlight: Anne Donaway, Delaware

by You're C. on Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Anne Donaway Delaware

At 30 years old, my only concern in life should have been raising my two young children. The signs were there but ignored for a while. Even as a Respiratory Therapist I had to be persuaded to go to the doctor. After kindly being told it was "anxiety" and that it was the stressors of raising a family and working, I was finally diagnosed with a PFO that had grown so large that I was not getting enough oxygen to my brain. After an attempted patch closure that failed, open heart via robotics was performed.

From that point on I was determined to make a difference by raising awareness in my community. Three years post-op I have been going so strong that I went on monthly adventures. Showing all that anything is possible. This past February and March I suffered two CVAs. Slowly but surely I have bounced back again even more determined. I run almost daily and in a couple of months will be running races. As soon as I'm cleared by physicians I will plan my greatest adventure. To my amazement even my co-workers have never seen a Stroke victim as young as myself and many are hard to convince without questioning.

I have started to educate other stroke and open heart survivors via a blog, newspaper and a magazine article. I'm trying my best to become an example that with knowledge and will power, anything is achievable. I don't want others to be diagnosed with "anxiety" and am determined to show that stroke and heart disease can happen at any age. Lastly, my now 8 year old son has been diagnosed with an ASD that is being considered for surgery. I want choices for him and I want answers. I fight for him!