Bailey Bernknopf was born with four congenital heart defects.She had her first surgery at five months old, followed by another at age 14 that had left doctors wondering if she would survive the night.
Today, at age 22, she is a cardiac disease researcher at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and an ambassador for the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF).
“My second surgery lasted more than 13 hours. I had lost an extensive amount of blood and my recovery was slow,” said Bernknopf. “I became an advocate for heart disease research about a year after my recovery. I wanted to turn the challenges I endured into something positive for myself and others facing similar circumstances.”
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