ST. PETERSBURG — An aspiring model and open-heart surgery survivor is about to enter a new chapter in life that she never imagined prior to receiving experimental shots.

Ms. Claire Bridges isn’t the typical 20-year-old woman. She was born with a congenital heart defect (aortic valve stenosis), which led to open-heart surgery at age 9. Survival rates after said surgery is typically in line with the population at-large if the right lifestyle changes are made. But the foregoing data are related to people over age 65. Post aortic valve surgery is “associated with inferior long-term survival” in young people, according to a 2018 study in the journal Frontiers in Surgery. Studies notwithstanding, Ms. Bridges appears to have overcome the odds and was living a life like any other young adult coming into their own.

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