By the time Mark Hanley was 14, he had undergone two surgeries to fix multiple heart defects. A year shy of high school, he learned he would need one more.
“It was kind of an out-of-body experience, but it was reassuring knowing my surgeon was able to view my heart and get a better understanding of its anatomy before the operation,” said Mark. “My only concern was whether I’d be able to go to school and play baseball.”
The surgery was a success. Mark was able to go to school full time and play a variety of sports. Six years later, he is now an industrial engineering college student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In the summer of 2022, he returned to the place that showed him a model of his heart to pay it forward.
Paying it forward
Last Updated: December 23, 2022