COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Sarah Sue Morbitzer, an Ohio State University volleyball player from Hamilton Township, overcame a heart defect to achieve her dream of becoming a Buckeye.
During her freshman year at OSU, Sarah Sue decided to have a valve replaced in her heart, and then a few weeks after surgery, she returned to the court.
Since that time, Sarah Sue and her new valve, which she calls Valerie, haven’t slowed down. Together, they are achieving dreams Sarah Sue didn’t even know she had.
Every time she steps onto the volleyball court, Sarah Sue gives her whole heart, a full heart now thanks to her replacement valve.
“I definitely saw it this past spring, just getting to play a full spring, so Valerie has definitely been put to work,” Sarah Sue said.
That work isn’t limited to the volleyball court. After an earlier story aired on NBC4, the American Heart Association reached out to collaborate, and now Sarah Sue is able to bring hope to other families.
“The coolest part for me is getting to send videos to 7-year-olds, 3-year-olds that have had heart surgeries or future surgeries and just being able to connect with them and let their families know it’s going to be okay,” she said.
“We wish we had a Sarah Sue to look at when she was a month old and we were waiting for open-heart surgery,” said Sarah Sue’s mother Carole Morbitzer. “You know, to have that model and to see someone thriving as a heart patient.”
Thriving thanks to many doctors, and of course, Valerie.
Sarah Sue and Valerie’s story made it all the way out west to California.
“Edwards Life Sciences is flying my family out to California to their headquarters and we are going to get to tour the campus, meet all the people who made Valerie possible,” Sarah Sue said.
“As soon as I meet those people, I know Mike and I are going to cry,” Carole said. “They’re responsible for a valve that, maybe, without, she couldn’t play volleyball anymore.”
And maybe, then, this moment would never have happened.
On April 18, Sarah Sue learned she had earned an athletic scholarship at Ohio State University.
“Even when I first stepped on campus as a freshman, it was a dream come true,” she said. “Have the scholarship day, it was like another dream come true.”
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