BY SARAH FEDELE
Our Hearts Beat for Adrian
“No matter how old, Adrian Brian Martin will always be my little brother. Such close siblings, as we were only a year apart in age, and up until his passing, we still shared the same hugs as we did when we were kids,” shared Angela Martin-Copeland.
Adrian will always be remembered for his warm smiles and loving heart. His joyful personality always left those around him feeling that they were his best friends. Adrian exhibited great passion for his work as a Direct Care Employee at L&J Group Home Inc., always expressing true love and concern for the clients that he served. And they loved him in return. Adrian also shared a passion for music, basketball and art.
Prior to Adrian’s passing, he was experiencing some discomfort in his chest and felt that it could possibly be indigestion or some type of heartburn discomfort.
He scheduled a doctor’s appointment for Wednesday. However, on Sunday, December 13, 2015, as he was prepared to go work, he decided to have a slice of pizza, as his schedule had been delayed for a few hours. This was when he suffered a massive heart attack at just 44 years old.
“My heart shattered,” remembered Angela. “Losing Adrian was the worst thing to ever happen in my life. I talked to him every day for the first year after we lost him. We needed to do something that really showed the goodness of him.”
Angela and her mother, Val, are both employed at BB&T. Adrian’s younger sister Ryan, his children Jalen and Aniya, along with other family members, close friends and co-workers, participate in the Winston-Salem Heart & Stroke Walk in honor of Adrian as the “Adrian’s Heart” Walk Team.
“He touched so many lives, and our hearts beat for Adrian. Bringing so many hearts together to help others is something that Adrian would have loved,” shared Angela.
At 19 years old, Jordann Hart’s friends and family are always surprised to hear about her heart. “I’ve had two open heart surgeries and one balloon surgery. My friends and family always say that I am really strong to have gone through so much,” shared Jordann, ‘JoJo’ to her friends and family.
Doctors discovered a heart murmur when Jordann was born, and a few weeks later she was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot – a hole in her heart. At five months old, Jordann had her first open heart surgery at Brenner Children’s Hospital, a part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, to repair the hole and a heart valve.
She had her second surgery at seven years old at Brenner Children’s Hospital to use a balloon to help fix continuing valve issues. “I remember telling my family goodbye in the hallway and then counting back from 10,” remembered Jordann.
Jordann’s third surgery was an open heart surgery to replace her heart valve with a pig valve at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte when she was 17. “I was nervous, but I understood how important it was to get my valve taken care of,” said Jordann. “I was out of the hospital after just five days. The doctors told me I was one of the fastest recoveries they had ever seen.”
After her last surgery, Jordann hasn’t slowed down at all. “I feel so much better. I feel like I can exercise and breathe so much better now,” shared Jordann.
“The research is so important,” said Jordann. “That is why my family and friends walk in the Winston-Salem Heart & Stroke Walk on JoJo’s Team. I have walked in the Heart & Stroke Walk since I was born. We want to support the cause. When I complete my college degree at Davidson County Community College, I’m planning to become a neonatal nurse, so I can help support other families that are fighting congenital heart disease issues.”
The 2018 Winston-Salem Heart & Stroke Walk, sponsored by Wake Forest Baptist Health and MedCost, will take place on Sunday, October 14 at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter at Bailey Park. Fun activities for the whole family begin at 1 p.m. and the 1, and the 2-mile walk begin at 2:30 p.m. For more information or to get involved, visit winstonsalemheartwalk.org.