The month of September was all about heart health and heartfelt stories, and to wrap it all up, we chatted with Jessica Lottering from Benoni in Gauteng. She was born with a rare cardiovascular disease, which includes the transposition of her two great veins, a hole in her heart and no function in one of her valves.
This condition exposed Lottering to fifteen surgeries in total, the very first one at the tender age of just two days old. Lottering’s existence is nothing short of a miracle, however, this has not exempted her from facing challenges and negative responses from her peers.
She is currently completing her matric year at 20 years old through homeschooling and has a keen interest in make-up and nail artistry. Jessica is a bright-eyed young lady who has hopes of sharing her story in a book one day.
Living in a heartless world
Lottering experienced a lot of bullying at school and therefore opted for the alternative option of homeschooling. As a result of her condition, Lottering could not participate in any physical activity or exercise at school and climbing the stairs to attend classes also placed pressure on her heart.
The physical condition of Lottering’s heart had an impact on what she felt inside of her heart, her emotional well-being, as she reflects on feelings of depression and shame when she was sixteen years old because she felt people did not understand her condition.
Currently, Lottering finds herself in a very good place, both mentally and physically and looks towards the future with great expectation.
In the discussion, Lottering also unpacks:
- What she has learned through her heart journey.
- How the Heart and Stroke Foundation gave her tools to better understand what she is going through and helped her to overcome her shame through this dark and challenging time.
Listen to the full interview on the Health For Mzansi podcast:
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
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