‘The end is in sight, prepare to say goodbye. If she makes it through the night, it won’t be a quality life.’

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Half a heart. Half a life.

“The end is in sight, so prepare to say goodbye. If she makes it through the night, it won’t be a quality life.”

That’s what the doctors said. My parents stood at my bed, refusing to accept that I might soon be dead. Tubes and machines and a scar on my chest-doctors wouldn’t hope for the best.

I was three. I should’ve died by six weeks, so just being here was hard to believe. It was hard to breathe, and I could hear, but I couldn’t see.

The surgeon didn’t sleep that night because he thought I was going to lose the fight. By the grace of God, I turned out all right. I went home some days after, but it was a while before there was any laughter.

I was traumatized. I was too young to realize the doctors were on my side. I didn’t say anything for a week. I was there, but I wasn’t me. I didn’t speak. I didn’t eat. I didn’t know what was happening.

Doctors told my parents the broken being might be the new me. I was still on high alert and brain damage was not unheard of. Half a heart. Half a life. Fortunately, there’s a greater One with a greater might.

At the end of the week, I finally decided to speak. I wanted apple juice to drink. The drugs and trauma began to leave, and the broken being was replaced with the real me.

“You can’t stop her from living her life.”

I was five. They didn’t want me to get sick, which was a huge risk, but I seemed to think it was worth it.

“I’m going to school,” I said.

I missed weeks at a time. I was always sick. I cried when I had to miss. But I would still say it was worth the risk.

I started acting at age seven. I was in a magazine at age eleven. At age fifteen I became a mentor for kids with heart disease. I’ve been eighteen for a few weeks.

I love acting and I love writing. I love boxing and I love biking. I love the stars and I love the sky. I love the people in my life.

I love glitter and pigs. I love coffee and kids. I love beaches and walks. I love long hugs and heart shaped rocks.

I want to help others through the strife that comes with this fight we call life.

Whoever said I wouldn’t have a quality life was wrong. I may be weak, but my God is strong. He has big plans for me, and I’m so excited to see what they will be.

I am living because God made me to do more than survive. Like the song says, I was made to thrive.

I have half a heart, which means twice the fight. But you better believe I will live a whole life.

Young girl who defied doctor's diagnosis of not living long smiling while holding little dog
Faith Earnest

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