The Importance of a Healthy Heart
By Vikki Hankins|~According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, “Worldwide, 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year, accounting for a third of all deaths in women.” Kimberly Goodloe, is not only a survivor of heart related complications, but she shares her jouney to encourage others with similiar health issues:
“I was born with an abnormal heart valve. We were told a couple of years ago that I would need a replacement. Two weeks before my first surgery February 12, 2009, I experienced shortness of breath, I knew something didn’t feel right. I made an appointment with the doctor, a test was ordered, surgery date was scheduled, I contacted my family and friends, and began to pray and focus on what was getting ready to take place in my life. A blockage occurred after the first surgery, then I received a pacemaker, during my second surgery, February 16th, 2009. On June 23rd, 2010), after a regular check-up, including a pacemaker reading, at the doctor’s office, my third surgery, pacemaker revision (outpatient procedure), took place the following day.
Before my first surgery, I contacted my family members, Pastor and Church Family, employer, co-workers, friends, neighbors, etc. My strong support system provided prayers, phone calls, flowers, books, beautiful cards, hospital visits, home visits, meals, etc. It was important to have support for my husband and children. While we discussed the surgical procedure with our children, it was necessary to continue providing a secure and stable environment. The door is always open anytime for the kids to come to us with any questions or concerns. The valve replacement surgery was successful, then I developed the blockage. The doctors notified my husband that I would need a pacemaker to help my heart function. It was unplanned, but necessary. The second procedure took place four days after the first procedure. We prayed with the Chaplain before the heart valve procedure. I also received visits from the Chaplains, at my request, throughout the time I was hospitalized: a total of eleven days.
My Faith in God, support from my husband, family, Pastor and Church Family, medical staff, friends, neighbors, Radical Love Family, co-workers, employer, etc… continues to play a major role in my healing process. I know that God loves me and promised never to leave me alone. He helped me get through this time of testing. Jeremiah 30:17: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord, because they called thee an Outcast saying, ‘This is Zion, who no man seeketh after.’”
Acceptance is also crucial during the recovery stage. Not living in denial, but accepting the daily challenges occurring inside my body, coping with breathing issues on a daily basis, living with a pacemaker, taking coumadin for the rest of my life, dealing with the discomfort in my chest, etc., empowered me to move forward. Where does my help come from? Believing and trusting God with my life. I know without a doubt that He is a healer. God is also loyal and faithful. Psalm 107: 1 “O Give Thanks unto the Lord for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” My relationship with my husband is even stronger. We were married in 1993 and promised to love each other unconditionally. He continues to provide emotional, physical, mental and spiritual support. While I was recovering he helped the kids with their homework, made daily trips to the grocery store, ironed the kid’s clothes, worked hard every day and spent quality time with me. I thank God for my soul mate.
When I returned home from the hospital, my 10 year old son quietly walked in my bedroom and prayed by my side every night. It was very important for him to thank God for healing his mother. When my 7 year old daughter saw the scar on my chest, which was the incision from heart surgery, it made her very uncomfortable. She thought I was in pain. I spoke to the school counselor about the issue. My daughter touched the scar and saw that I wasn’t in pain. I’m happy to say, my daughter is now comfortable with the scar. After my surgery, our children asked about the limitations, when I would be able to drive again, how did I feel overall etc. We continue to keep the lines of communication open in our home. It’s very important for our children to express their feelings. I continue to pray for my husband and children. We are determined to face any obstacles “together” with God’s guidance.
Through FAITH, FAMILY, and FRIENDS, I’m able to face each day and know within my heart that God continues to bless me and my family. Everyday is a GIFT from God.”
For more information on Kimberly Goodloe see below: