Brian Hamacher

Assistant Principal Recovering From Life-Saving Heart Transplant

An assistant principal at M.A. Milam K-8 Center in Hialeah is recovering from a life-saving heart transplant.

"It has made me stronger. It has also allowed me to learn that I need to slow down," Dr. Erika Carter-Rolle said. "I believe if you fail to plan, you plan to fail so I continued to plan in my life and this wasn't part of my plan."

Carter-Rolle said her ordeal began eight years ago with a cold virus.

"Mine was a cold I couldn't get rid of," she said.

Carter-Rolle had cardiomyopathy, a condition doctors say often leads to heart failure. That's what happened to Carter-Rolle. Having suffered a stroke, her heart was eventually operating at just 10 percent, making walking just a few feet a challenge.

"I had to react and to figure out if I was going to allow this to affect me in a negative or I was going to continue on and that's what I chose to do," she said.

She continued going to school for her doctorate and continued working as assistant principal at M.A. Milam.

"I was definitely on borrowed time," she said.

It got to the point that she needed a new heart and she was put on a transplant list.

"I said 'let's do this' when I got the call, I'm going for it," she said.

Now, a month later and Carter-Rolle is out of the hospital. The eight years have changed the naturally driven educator from a woman who liked to plan it all to a survivor who now takes life one day at a time.

"I went in like a champion and came out as a warrior," she said.

Carter-Rolle has plenty of doctor's appointments planned for the the future but she hopes her story will help Inspire others to never let a diagnosis stop them even when doctors say you're living on borrowed time.

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