Model That Carries His Heart In Bag To Inspire People
By: Sandeep Sat, 20 Jan 2018 07:48 AM
It was just like any other daily run for Andrew Jones. He put one foot in front of the other. He breathed in. He breathed out. He made it to the mailbox, but he knew something wasn't right.
Labored breathing would alarm anyone, but for Andrew, an avid runner and fitness hound, it was particularly worrisome.
After his run, he called his doctor and requested to see someone right away. Two specialists and 24 hours of heart monitoring later, Andrew was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy.
"I didn't really know much about what it meant," Andrew said. "I was still very strong, getting my workouts in at the gym like normal, just being young and feeling invincible."
So after that one troubling run, Andrew kept working out. But his symptoms started getting worse.
Andrew, now 26, has loved the gym since college. He found an unexpected home there and noticed that regular workouts kept him focused and disciplined. "The best way to explain it is that being active is in my blood," he said.
But soon his fatigue and shortness of breath turned into pain and weakness that left him, at times, unable to stand up for more than 10 minutes.
Eventually, Andrew suffered heart failure. He was coughing up blood and had to be rushed to the hospital. There, doctors told him that if he didn't get a heart transplant soon, he could die.
As you can see, Andrew doesn't hide from his scars. Nor does he hide from the tubes coming in and out of his body that operate his artificial heart.
Instead, he wants those things to inspire others. He wants people to know that whatever your goals are, you shouldn't let anything, including a near-death experience, stand in your way.
Everywhere Andrew goes, he carries a backpack. Inside it is the machine pumping blood through his veins and keeping him alive. The literal weight on his shoulders is a constant reminder of how close he came to losing everything.