Day: February 25, 2021

How a Longtime Heart Disease Survivor Helps Others Facing Surgery

Jessica Vargas-Miranda.

Jessica has lived with congenital heart disease since being diagnosed at seven months old and never let it slow her down. Here she is pictured with her dog hiking in the Santa Ysabel West Preserve. Each weekend, Jessica and her husband hike nearly 10 miles.

Jessica Vargas-Miranda in the hospital.

Jessica in 2013, recovering at UC San Diego Health from her fourth heart surgery.

When Jessica Vargas-Miranda was just 9 months old, she underwent open heart surgery after doctors determined she suffered from congenital heart disease. Two months later, she underwent heart surgery again. By the time she was 30, she had endured four open heart procedures.

“I’m the oldest of three. I was born a healthy baby to a loving family. I was growing normally according to all medical standards, but when I was 7 months old my mom noticed something wasn’t right,” said Jessica. “I began sweating profusely and was losing weight, and

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — KTTC is honored to introduce viewers monthly to some of the youngest among us, facing the unthinkable with bravery and optimism. In our sixth “Kids With Courage” segment, Caitlin Alexander introduces us to 10-year-old Braylin Hiley.

Braylin recently celebrated her 10th birthday.

Braylin isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

When she learned she was going to be featured on the news, she exclaimed to her parents, “OMG!”

But she speaks differently than most.

“I would say 80% of it is her eye gaze machine now,” said Braylin’s mother Shannon.

To picture the technology Braylin uses to communicate, her parents said it may be helpful to picture British Theoretical Physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking.

Braylin’s father Matt further explained how Braylin’s eye gaze machine works.

Braylin uses technology that allows her communicate through eye movement.

“It reads her eyes, and then she can navigate a computer and it

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