Congenital Heart Defects: Author Martha Ramirez

Thank you, Jordyn, for having me on your blog. It’s great to be here! And thank you for celebrating my new children’s picture book, Broken Heart with me.
On March 11th of 2013, my life completely changed. Well, to be more precise, it was the year 2012 in October. In October, after undergoing Holter monitor testing and an echocardiogram (echo), my cardiologist discovered my heart was enlarged. After extensive testing and a conference held by the top specialists in San Francisco, they concluded open-heart surgery was needed to correct a congenital heart defect we never knew I had.
Wow. A congenital heart defect? Me?
Here I was, trying to digest the news. Trying to keep the faith. Striving to keep it together. I went from never having surgery in my life to full blown saw-through-the-sternum open-heart surgery.
If I hadn’t followed up with doctors, they never would’ve discovered it. It definitely pays to seek medical care, even when you’re well.
The doctors said I would’ve grown more tired each day and my heart would have enlarged until it stopped working. So here I am now, grateful to be sharing my story. And thankful God heard all the heartfelt prayers.
Photo by L.I.L.A Images
Inspired by my own heart story, my children’s book, Broken Heart, is about a brave girl who learns doctors have to mend her broken heart. Seven-year-old Julia goes on an unforgettable heart journey and takes her twin sister along for the ride. And because it’s very close to my heart, its debut is on the 13th month of my open-heart surgery anniversary. This book was inspired by my experience of open-heart surgery and having to stay strong and pray for the best.
I’ve learned a lot about the medical field in one short year. Lots of testing. Lots of patience. And lots of faith, that’s for sure. In the end, it was all about listening to my body and not ignoring my intuition that saved me. That and a whole lot of prayer.
Thank God for doctors and for new technology. I’m truly blessed that I had a team of top doctors looking out for me.

May you all stay heart healthy and heart strong.

In addition to writing, Martha is a 2012 Genesis Semi-Finalist, a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), YALITCHAT.ORG, the Muse Conference Board, CataNetwork Writers, and American Author’s Association. Her articles have appeared in various places including the Hot Moms Club and For Her Information (FHI) magazine. In 2012, her blog was nominated website of the week by Writer’s Digest. She looks forward to expanding her career and is hard at work on her next young adult novel. She currently resides in Northern California where she enjoys gardening and kickboxing (not simultaneously). Visit her blog at

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