Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.

Makennah Heitmann, 12th Grade


 

MAKENNAH HEISMANN, SENIOR

April 2021

WHAT MAKES ME ME?

 

Sports were my entire life growing up. You would never see me doing anything else.

I had many influences that started me on the path of athleticism and continued to help me and watch me grow. I came from a separated household, so sports gave me a second place to release and forget everything.

Like most kids at that age, I had big plans for myself pertaining to playing sports at a collegiate level. I was on my way to seventh-grade physically thinking I was as healthy as I could be, and that's when my life turned around and came to a complete stop. My doctors knew I had a previous heart condition, so they followed precaution and I had an EKG and ECHO done. The results were inconclusive due to my team of doctors not being able to clearly read the tests. In the event of them not being able to read them, it became worrisome therefore leading them to send me to Bryan Health in Lincoln. Bryan then told us that they weren’t equipped for my condition and requested that we transfer to Childrens in Omaha. After many tests, they declared that I needed to have an emergency surgery called an “Emergency Valvulplasty,” which in simpler terms means that my valve was 85 percent blocked, restricting my ability to breathe. The surgery did not go as planned and caused fluid to leak backward into my heart. In February of my eighth-grade year, I went for a checkup and after my usual tests, my cardiology team came into my room with the worst news I could possibly hear at that age. I was told that if I did not have open-heart surgery I would only have two years left to live due to the leakage in my heart.

In June of the summer before my freshman year, I underwent open-heart surgery for 12 hours and woke up with even more bad news. The surgery went great, but my heart was exhausted from working so hard for so long and they weren’t able to get my heartbeat back after taking me off the bypass machine. After two weeks in the ICU with a temporary pacemaker, I went into surgery again and had a permanent pacemaker implanted at 14 years old. There have been some scares with it in the past few years but I am so thankful to still be here.

Things could have gone so much worse and caused me to not wake up from surgery. I am no longer allowed to lift weights, therefore not allowing me to play school sports. It's been hard watching everyone play the sports I love, but I have had the amazing opportunity to manage the teams and still be a part of the game. I went through something no one should go through especially at that age but it has made me who I am today and has given me multiple opportunities I never thought I would have.

Media Inquiries
Mitchell Roush , Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127
Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.

Makennah Heitmann, 12th Grade


 

MAKENNAH HEISMANN, SENIOR

April 2021

WHAT MAKES ME ME?

 

Sports were my entire life growing up. You would never see me doing anything else.

I had many influences that started me on the path of athleticism and continued to help me and watch me grow. I came from a separated household, so sports gave me a second place to release and forget everything.

Like most kids at that age, I had big plans for myself pertaining to playing sports at a collegiate level. I was on my way to seventh-grade physically thinking I was as healthy as I could be, and that's when my life turned around and came to a complete stop. My doctors knew I had a previous heart condition, so they followed precaution and I had an EKG and ECHO done. The results were inconclusive due to my team of doctors not being able to clearly read the tests. In the event of them not being able to read them, it became worrisome therefore leading them to send me to Bryan Health in Lincoln. Bryan then told us that they weren’t equipped for my condition and requested that we transfer to Childrens in Omaha. After many tests, they declared that I needed to have an emergency surgery called an “Emergency Valvulplasty,” which in simpler terms means that my valve was 85 percent blocked, restricting my ability to breathe. The surgery did not go as planned and caused fluid to leak backward into my heart. In February of my eighth-grade year, I went for a checkup and after my usual tests, my cardiology team came into my room with the worst news I could possibly hear at that age. I was told that if I did not have open-heart surgery I would only have two years left to live due to the leakage in my heart.

In June of the summer before my freshman year, I underwent open-heart surgery for 12 hours and woke up with even more bad news. The surgery went great, but my heart was exhausted from working so hard for so long and they weren’t able to get my heartbeat back after taking me off the bypass machine. After two weeks in the ICU with a temporary pacemaker, I went into surgery again and had a permanent pacemaker implanted at 14 years old. There have been some scares with it in the past few years but I am so thankful to still be here.

Things could have gone so much worse and caused me to not wake up from surgery. I am no longer allowed to lift weights, therefore not allowing me to play school sports. It's been hard watching everyone play the sports I love, but I have had the amazing opportunity to manage the teams and still be a part of the game. I went through something no one should go through especially at that age but it has made me who I am today and has given me multiple opportunities I never thought I would have.

Media Inquiries
Mitchell Roush , Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127
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