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'I want people to prioritize their health' Copperas Cove teen thriving with a heart condition

Posted at 8:26 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 21:26:48-05

Back in 2019, Angelica Torres had a heart loop monitor embedded in her chest, one of the first surgeries of its kind ever performed on a child in the U.S. Today, she is exceeding doctors' expectations and advocating for heart health.

Torres has a medical condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia. She was diagnosed at 2 years old.

"SVT means my heart rate moves faster than a normal person, and LVHT is because the left side of my heart is weaker due to the overworking of the SVT," said Torres.

After several unsuccessful surgeries as a child, she had surgery to insert a heart loop monitor. It has been in her chest, tracking her heart episodes every day for three years.

Torres said, "Overall, I have had a good experience with it it has helped me learn my body better. It connects to this device so if I have a heart episode doctors will be able to tell and track the reading so they can get further information. It depends but I normally use it up to five times a month."

A device the size of a thumb drive is helping her do what doctors said she couldn't.

"They told me I couldn't play sports. Now I'm on the Junior Varsity Lady Dawgs Volleyball team. It’s one of the best things in my life volleyball has been a big part of my life while growing up and it’s kept my heart healthy with working out. It makes me feel really good to know that I’ve overcome most of my challenges so far," Torres said.

Her heart loop monitor has a battery life of three years. She says it will be removed soon but after 3 years with the heart loop monitor, there are hours of data to sift through.

Dr. James Hoffman a Pediatric Cardiologist at Baylor Scott and White said, "With those types of symptoms diagnosing specifically what it is can often be very tricky because symptoms are brief. They may only happen for seconds, the way we diagnose them is by having an electrical tracing of the heart when they're symptomatic."

Hoffman said advancements in technology have helped but it is still a challenger diagnosing what is causing the accelerated heart rate.

"The next step is treatment when you have that diagnosis, the treatment part is really pretty straightforward," Hoffman said. "Like I said, in the majority of patients, it's curative."

As Torres anticipates her monitor removal, she still isn't slowing down.

"In a future time, I may be cured of my disease, but until then I'm working toward a better cause," said Torres.

She's diminishing out her reign as Teen Miss Fiver Hills, her platform Heart Health.

Torres has raised thousands with her Go Red for Women Fashion show advocating for heart health.