Interview by Julia Ischinger | Submitted by Taylor Ernst Nomination and Photography by April Ernst Tennessee
Taylor Ernst. Taylor is a 15-year-old who currently resides in West TN. From a very young age Taylor was gifted and I knew she would be something spectacular. From the beginning her grades were outstanding and she easily coasted through each grade. She was the Salutatorian of her Jr High Class and at that time she declared her dreams of becoming a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. As her start of High School began so did the worsening of some fatigue she had experienced as well as some intense chest pain accompanied by passing out multiple times. Eventually these symptoms lead to a diagnosis of Positional Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). To many this can be a disabling diagnosis but to Taylor this became a challenge, a challenge to persevere, a challenge to exceed all expectations. She not only got better with medicine but has used her diagnosis to further her determination of becoming a CV Surgeon!! What would have discouraged most drives her. It motivates her. She has so many talents. Taylor uses music which is a natural talent for her as well to relax and plays an active role in her school band playing multiple instruments. Every day watching this fantastic young lady I am amazed at her perseverance and her determination. I’m fascinated at the very essence of her being that drives her!! She will do great things in this world.
What instruments do you play and which is your favorite? The vibraphone, marimba, and piano. The marimba has not only very soothing sound, but it also can play funky jazz pieces.
What is POTS? Positional Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a heart condition that causes you to feel dizzy or faint when you stand up. This is because your heart is beating faster to try to get blood to your brain from the position change.
How does having this effect your life? I am constantly fatigued. The heat exasperates my condition and causes me to faint or have severe chest pain. I also am not able to do other sports because heavy exercise takes a toll on my body.
What inspired you to want to become a Cardiothoracic Surgeon? With my heart condition, I decided that I wanted to venture into knowledge concerning the heart to help others. I chose surgery because I want to one day save lives and make the world a happier and healthier place.