Survival not stigma: celebrate your scars

Everyday, Brigitta Gergely cried at her reflection. Three open heart operations had left her scarred. However, through her pain, Brigitta has managed to create something beautiful and has brought together a community of heart warriors who feel the same way. Abigail Gillibrand has spoken to her about how she has formed a social media campaign to celebrate their uniqueness.

“I was very ashamed of my scar. I thought it made me look like a freak, though I don’t even believe in that word anymore.

“If my scar was visible in a shirt I made sure I had covered it with make-up.  I would cry daily looking at myself in the mirror.  I even went as far as meeting with a plastic surgeon for skin graphing.”

Brigitta, 28, was born with a congenital heart defect called Aortic Valve Stenosis. This is a condition that occurs when the heart’s aortic valve is narrow. This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully and therefore obstructs the blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Because of this, the heart has to work extra hard to pump the blood around the body. All of this extra strain on the heart eventually weakens its muscle.

“I have had three open heart surgeries.  But altogether I have had six surgeries and two additional procedures.” Brigitta explained…

Read more here.

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