Louisville teen finds healing in 'Hunger Games' star, shares heart story
A Louisville teen's heart journey has led her to find inspiration in Jennifer Lawrence and in turn, a new hobby. Now, she's on a mission to raise awareness.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville teen's heart journey has led her to find inspiration in Jennifer Lawrence and in turn, a new hobby. Now, she's on a mission to raise awareness for heart health.
At 15 years old, Ella Beames is looking forward. "My whole life just changed from there on," Beames said.
She's referring to the day she passed out. "When I walked into school, it felt like I was sprinting because that's how fast my heart was going."
At eight years old, she went into sudden cardiac arrest that could have taken her life. "In, that moment you can't imagine when you'll be on the other side. it was terror from the beginning," says Beames' mother, Theresa.
A new principal stepped into action, reviving her. "It is a miracle that things went they way they did that morning," Theresa Beames said.
They found out she had a condition that caused her heart muscle to thicken. Doctors at Norton Healthcare put in a pacemaker. "It's a part of who I am and I've come to accept it and and now I think of my pacemaker as my little friend that can be slightly evil," Ella Beames said.
Peace of mind became the other issue. "All my friends, they were in P.E. class and running around and I was so self-conscious of any activity," Beames said.
It was the year before the Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen owned it with her bow on the big screen. "It looked like a fun sport that didn't require a lot running or risk."
She's met her idol, Jennifer Lawrence twice through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "Oh my gosh, this is the person that has helped me through so much with her courage and her compassion and her love for everyone around her. Not only Katniss but also Jennifer, really inspired who I wanted to become."
The soon-to-be high school sophomore is becoming an advocate. "People die from heart disease every year. millions of people. I don't think people are as aware of it as they should be. Everyone needs to be CPR trained."
Her story made the cover of Norton Children's Hospital spring catalog through its Brave Heart support group. "We had remarkable staff around and physicians we trusted implicitly and to be seven years down the road is amazing. It's really amazing," Theresa Beames said.
It went to 100,000 households. "I know it's important so I was really happy that people who got it could learn about it.
Her private story is going. "To share her story and maybe give other people hope, that thrills us and I believe she can do that the rest of her life," Beames said.
Fearlessness that would make Katniss Everdeen proud.
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