Fit Louisville

2016

Greater Louisville Health Guide is a directory and resource guide to health providers and services in Louisville, Kentucky. Includes listings of area doctors and dentists, hospitals, nursing homes and emergency care.

Issue link: https://louisvillehealthguide.epubxp.com/i/642564

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F I T 2 0 1 6 - 2 0 1 7 1 1 FIT Judd was a junior at the University of Kentucky when she started feeling weird one day at dance team practice. "It felt like I had a brick on my chest," she says. She thought maybe she was just tired, but when her symptoms continued the next day her parents made her go to the emergency room. That led to a diagnosis of a heart condition called Ebstein's anomaly. "My tricuspid valve was leaking severely and part of my heart was enlarged to twice the normal size," the 26-year-old says. She had open- heart surgery six weeks later and took a semester of college off to recover. Now the American Heart Association's Heart Walk director, she says, "If I didn't listen to my parents, my doctors did tell me that it was just a matter of time before I would've become a statistic." What was life like after open-heart surgery at age 20? "I wasn't able to drive. I had to sleep sitting up because lying on my back hurt my chest. And I'm always like an upbeat, high- energy person, very positive, but I actually went through some depression. It's normal for people who have open-heart surgery to go through some depression, which I didn't really realize. I actually went through the rehab a lot longer than most people just because I was trying to get back to my dancing abilities, not just getting back up and walking. But I was able to go back my senior year and I was back on the dance team." What are you able to do now, workout- wise? "Now, I'm fully recovered. I do a lot of spin classes and running. Also, I like to throw in some Pure Barre every now and then. Before I even knew I had a heart condition, I never really went to the gym. Dance practice was like my workout. When we had to go run or I had to be on an elliptical, I would be on there for like 10 minutes and I would have to get off because I just couldn't take it for some reason. Now it makes sense why I couldn't go very long. But now when I'm on the treadmill, I can go for an hour and feel good." Regan Judd

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