Q13 FOX Season of Giving

Healthy Living: 24 surgeries in 30 years, Seattle woman shares story of survival

Kami Sutton had her first surgery just 12 hours after being born in Everett, Washington.  Her parents were told Kami may not survive the 30 minute drive it would take to get to Seattle Children's Hospital in Seattle.

Kami was born with multiple heart defects.  Her heart was on the right side of her body and not connected to her lungs.  Also, her heart chambers were reversed.  As a result, Kami has endured 24 surgeries in just 30 years.

Today, Kami is more than surviving, she's thriving.  Recently, she celebrated her 30th birthday and in the last few years was told her heart and health was stable enough to take her off the transplant list.

This year, Kami will walk for the 20th time in the Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk in Seattle.  Not only is Kami passionate about promoting heart health, she also wants people to know how important research dollars are to her health and the health of countless others.

Kami says she's waiting for research and science to catch up to her, adding that every dollar raised gives her and others a better chance at a life without surgeries, procedures and pain.

If you'd like to join Kami in this years walk, you can register for free at Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk

The Heart and Stroke walk is a non-competitive 5K walk/run.  There is also a one-mile option for survivors, the Warrior Walk.

The walk is Saturday, October 13th at Seattle Center.  Festivities kick off at 7:30 am with the walk starting at 9 am.  The event is open to all ages and is dog-friendly.

Heart disease and stroke are responsible for 1 out of 3 deaths in the U.S.  The American Heart Association has funded more than $4 billion in research since 1949.  The organization has funded more research into cardiovascular diseases and stroke than any organization except for the federal government.

To learn more, visit American Heart Association