In this week’s Health For Mzansi podcast, we delve into the heartfelt story and experience of heart hero Jordan Hardnick, a 21-year-old architectural student and professional based in Pretoria, Gauteng. Hardnick’s story is nothing short of a miracle and exudes plenty of hope and inspiration.
At a very young age, Hardnick was diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve. This condition is defined as an abnormality in the aortic valve in the heart, where the individual will only have two small parts, called leaflets, instead of the normal three. In addition to this, Hardnick also suffered a condition called aortic stenosis, whereby the walls of the valves in his heart thickened causing the blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body to be reduced or blocked.
These conditions caused a bacterial infection which ultimately led to Hardnick’s first open heart surgery at the tender age of five years old, which was followed by his second open heart surgery at 15 years old, and his third at 18 years old.
100% reliant on a pacemaker
Hardnick candidly explains that his heart does not and cannot function on its own and therefore needs a device connected to his heart. It essentially shocks his heart causing it to contract and push blood from his heart throughout his body.
Processing all of this can be heartbreaking, admits Hardnick, and the experience of being 100% dependent on a pacemaker to help your heart function sometimes cultivates feelings of fear and isolation. However, despite the vulnerability this heart condition poses, Hardnick chooses to focus on the positive and finds comfort in the fact that no one in this world is free from trial or tribulation and that this is his journey.
In the episode, Hardnick also discusses:
- How he had to make some adaptions in his life so that his physical health was not compromised, such as eating healthy, not engaging in contact sports, and not consuming alcohol or smoking.
- His family and faith as core systems of support and how he cannot imagine life without them.
- The enormous financial implications of his condition, and the big life lesson that he has learned through all of this.
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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