N.H. Mother, Veteran With Heart Defect Keeps Running To Support Vets

Pictured: Miki Elms and her son 10 months post open heart surgery after a 15 mile run.Photo: WBZ NewsRadio / Shari Small

BROOKLINE, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — At 18 years old, Miki Elms of Brookline, New Hampshire joined the United States Air Force, meeting all the strenuous physical demands of job not knowing that she was born with a heart defect.

"I have what's called a right anomalous coronary artery, found in less than one percent of people," Elms said.

Two and a half years ago, at age 36 and as a mother of two, her strength suddenly gave out.

"I literally ran eight miles, it was the best time that I had run and I came home and couldn't make it up my driveway. My head was pounding, my heart was racing, I was very short of breath— and that lasted for four days," Elms said.

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She had open heart surgery, including an unroofing of the heart and bypass at Mass General. Ten months later she ran in a 15-mile event, and on Sunday she's running in Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon.

"I'm not as fast as I used to be, but I feel great. I'm happy to show that people with heart conditions can still do everyday life," Elms said.

She's running with a group from the Heartfelt Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit that supports patient with congenital heart defects.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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