Whispers | Critical Role RPG Show Episode 29
An Undetected and Dangerous Heart Murmur Almost Killed Me
The Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection features more than a dozen celebrities, all walking down the carpet in the name of raising awareness for heart disease. But one women on the catwalk isn't a model or TV star. She's an employee at Macy's named Odilia Cristabel Flores, who has personally been impacted by the disease.
Flores was born with a heart murmur, which made her childhood difficult. "As a toddler I was always weak, pale, and low in energy," she says. Flores spent her early years in Guatemala, and it was hard for her to get the proper diagnosis, and her health suffered. Then, in a tragic turn of events her father died in a motorcycle accident, leaving her mother alone to handle daughter's condition. Finally, years later, doctors figured out what was causing her poor health. Although some people can live with a heart murmur, she learned that her specific case would require surgery, or else the disease may be fatal.
"The options were tough, I had to either have open heart surgery, or not have surgery and continue to live, but always be weak, sick, and at most I would have lived up to age 15," says Flores.
Still, the odds of the surgery weren't good—she had a 50% chance of survival. On top of that, her extended family was hesitant about the surgery, but her mom decided to go forward anyway so that Flores could have the chance to live a long and healthy life.
"The week I had the surgery, 9 people had the same surgery I had, and only 4 of us survived," says Flores. Now, the Macy's associate is 39, happy, healthy and feeling better than ever. In fact, she's in such good condition that doctors told her that if it wasn't for the scar on her chest, no one would even know she had a heart issue. That scar, though, is a symbol of what she's been through.
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