Our Journeys

PHAmerica Honors Essays

Myra Verdin

"What I would tell other PH'ers is "live your life!" No one knows when the end will come and that is no different for us. So don't let anything stop you from enjoying your life and your family."

- Myra Verdin

Hi my name is Myra I am 38 years old. I was born with transposition of the great vessels and had the mustard procedure in 1975. This saved my life! I have three children--one passed away when he was born. I was always short of breath. Never could run much but that did not stop me. I just hated sports.

In November of 2010 my hubby and my mother made me go to my primary care physician because I could no longer walk from my car to my house without being severely out of breath. My doctor sent me to Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans where they kept me for two weeks. They discovered that I had holes in my heart and I had severe pulmonary hypertension (PH).

MyraI had never heard of pulmonary hypertension and was still a little confused about what it was. All I know that I did hear and understand is that I would have to have a heart lung transplant. That shook me to my core (as it would anyone).

It so happened that my hubby and I had been planning on taking the kids to Disney World for the first time. I was so worried that I would not make it. But as I began to feel better (because now they have me on medication), I made a point to stop ho humming about it and just do it. So with our tax money that should have gone to bills we went to Disney World. It was the best family vacation we had. It was the first family vacation we had since our youngest was born in 2003. To see her little face light up was priceless.

What I would tell other PH'ers is "live your life!" Noone knows when the end will come that is no different for us. So don't let anything stop you from enjoying your life and your family. Especially bills...they will always be there. On those days when you feel down go hold your children, your spouse, your love ones for a while then snap yourself out of it and GO LIVE!


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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.