Tampa Heart Walk 2015: Pinellas Park woman survives with half of a heart

Join us for Tampa Heart Walk 2015 on Saturday, Nov. 7

Meagan Broucek was born with half of a heart. Family photo

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA)– She was born with literally half of a heart. She grew up thinking there was no one else like her.

Now, Meagan Broucek is 25. She works with children and she shares her heart story to help others.

“I came out blue, so they had no idea what was going on,” says survivor Meagan Broucek.

Meagan Broucek was born with half of a heart. Family photo
Meagan Broucek was born with half of a heart. Family photo

It turns out she had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, also known as HLHS. She had her first surgery at five days old and there were more to follow. Meagan is a fighter and a survivor but it doesn’t mean her childhood was easy.

“My parents didn’t bubble me at all. They thought, ‘If she’s here, she’s here for a reason.’ I was bullied as a kid, mostly for my voice cause I never really showed my scar. It sounds like I’m sick all the time but that’s because the feeding tube scratched my vocal chords as a baby.”

The saddest part of Meagan’s story is how alone she felt.

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“When I was younger, I always thought I was the only one cause I didn’t meet anyone, until I was 23, that had the same thing I did or even another heart condition. So, I thought there’s got to be more people out there.”

And there are. Thanks to social media, Meagan is now connecting with them. “I just posted a few times and then it spread like wildfire.”

Her Facebook page “Half a Heart, Twice the Fight” has nearly 3,000 followers. “I just post about my daily life and I answer questions they ask me.”

“It’s so refreshing. you can talk to the person and they understand what you’re talking about cause they have the same problems or the same issues,” Broucek says.

You’re invited to join us for Tampa Heart Walk 2015 on Saturday, Nov. 7. Learn more

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