Miss Charity Australia

Asha Grigg Headshot

Miss Charity Australia

Asha’a Story: Hi I’m Asha Grigg, I am 23 from Perth, Western Australia.

I am working to raise awareness of Heart Disease and to inspire people through sharing my personal
story.

In August of 2014, at age 17, I underwent basic keyhole surgery to remove my appendix, the surgery
went well, however whilst in the recovery room I suffered a cardiac event that resulted in my heart
stopping. Thankfully, I was in the right place, and the Dr’s were able to revive me and give me a
second chance at life.

After numerous tests, I was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy, Non-compaction and mitral valve
regurgitation, which to keep it simple, means I have Heart Failure. As my parents and I sat in the
Cardiologists room, he explained my heart was essentially like spongey swiss cheese, but there was
uncertainty on exactly how bad it was, so I was told to stop everything. No more sports, no more
dancing, no fast foods and so on, I was essentially told to stop living my life.

For the next 2 years that is exactly what I did, along with taking a long list of medications, I let my
condition rule my life. And then at the start of 2016, I had enough, I was still getting worse so I
started to do the opposite… Parties, gym twice a day every day, insanely long work hours and the list
goes on.

11th August 2016, I was admitted into the ICU at a local hospital where my Cardiologist resided, and
after a few days it was decided my care needed to be transferred to a higher level, the Advance
Heart Team in Perth Western Australia. By November 2016 they had me booked in for Heart surgery
to implant an Internal Cardiac Defibrillator.

The team explained everything that was going on and told me I would one day need a Heart
Transplant and explained that my lifestyle will have a big impact on how soon that would be. They
provided me with a lot of information and introduced me to the resources of the Heart Foundation
Australia. From here I turned my life around, I learnt all I could to understand and worked closely
with my medical team and the Heart Foundation Australia so that I could give myself the best chance
at life. So, by mid-2018 I was able to train at the Gym 3-4 times a week, work full time and freelance
as a model in my spare time.

I had mastered the basics, however, was still struggling with the mental / emotional side of it all. I
felt alone and felt that I would not be able to achieve my goals. From there I went on a personal
journey through discovering myself, understanding what I truly wanted, removing the negativity
from my life and focusing on my goals.

By Mid to late 2019, I was finally in a place of acceptance. I accepted the cards that were dealt to me
and realised that I do not need to let my illness define me or stop me from reaching for my goals. I
realised I was not alone, and that I was in fact very lucky, I unlike many, had been given a second
chance, an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

Now, I am still training 3-4 times a week, modelling in my spare time, and working full time, I am
achieving my goals! I am an internationally published model, and as of 15th November 2020, I hold
the title of Miss Charity Australia. I am also planning my future; my wedding with my fiancé, building
my home, working towards my career goals of being a successful woman in a high-level role, and I
am working to make a difference!

I share my story, in the hope to raise awareness and inspire people to believe in themselves and
push through their hurdles. I want everyone to know, you are not alone, and remind people,
information is power.

Although my condition cannot be “cured”, I will need a heart transplant in the next 5 years, but I am
kicking heart failure’s butt, on paper, based on science / testing I shouldn’t be able to do any of the
aforementioned things, but I can, I don’t want to just be another statistic, I want to be the outlier,
the one that hopefully will make people rethink what they may be capable of.

Thankyou for taking the time to read my story.

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