With All Her Heart – Oxygen Magazine

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Growing up, Mauri Peterson was an avid gymnast and surfer who thrived on competition. But around age 10, she began suffering from fainting spells and blackouts. She was misdiagnosed with anxiety and hypoglycemia for several years, but then she experienced a cardiac arrest. An EKG determined she had sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) long QT type 2 — a dysfunction of the heart’s electrical system that causes rapid and irregular heartbeats. Peterson had surgery to implant a defibrillator, which administered a shock to her heart each time it went into arrest.

But perhaps worse for Peterson was the news that came next. “My cardiologists said I could never again participate in physical sports because my heart was unable to sustain a rapid heartbeat,” she says. “I felt sorry for myself and went through a lot of emotional turmoil trying to accept my fate at such a young age.”

Her Heart’s Desire

After high school, Peterson got certified as a personal trainer because she knew her calling was to help others. But even though Peterson had made peace with her diagnosis, she still refused to give up on her own dreams.

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