Disease

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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