Generation Grit

Overcoming adversity without losing heart

Diagnosed with a severe and rare heart condition at birth, Ms Boo Kai Ni faced bullying by classmates who did not understand she was ill. But she did not waver in her pursuit of a better future.
Ms Boo Kai Ni with one of her 15 art pieces – each detailing a different kind of heart condition – that will be featured in an exhibition next weekend at Safra Punggol to raise awareness of people with heart conditions.
Ms Boo Kai Ni with one of her 15 art pieces – each detailing a different kind of heart condition – that will be featured in an exhibition next weekend at Safra Punggol to raise awareness of people with heart conditions. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Diagnosed with a severe and rare heart condition at birth, Ms Boo Kai Ni could not walk more than 300m without pausing for breath. Yet, she never wavered in her determination to seek a better future. Having beaten the odds, she is now committed to being a voice for others.

One of the happiest moments of 22-year-old Boo Kai Ni's life came two years ago, when she managed to climb the stairs of an overhead bridge for the first time.

She had just recovered from an operation for a severe heart defect, and she had walked to the overhead bridge near the hospital to "test out" her newly mended organ.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2019, with the headline 'Overcoming adversity without losing heart'. Print Edition | Subscribe