Stories Lived

Morgan Mengle: An Extraordinary Life with CHD

Morgan has gone through many hardships from the day she was born. She has had multiple open heart surgeries and cardiac catheterizations for her congenital heart defect (CHD), as well as surgeries for her radial dysplasia, her eyes, and in the future, for her jaw.

Morgan and I have been best friends since second grade, where we instantly connected upon being put on the same basketball team. Growing up, I have seen all of the bumps in the road that Morgan has encountered. Although we would drift apart, as friends sometimes do, she would always be there for me as I would be for her.

As the years went by, she would have a surgery here and there mixed in with some check-ups at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she has gone since she was an infant. However, I never experienced anything like 2013, when Morgan was diagnosed with infectious endocarditis. She had a cold for a while, and then one day out of the blue, she was rushed to the nearby hospital, only to be transferred to CHOP from the severity of her condition. She was in the hospital for about a month, but was out of school for four months. This is tough on a teenager, and the results could have been fatal, but she stayed strong throughout it all.

I’m convinced that the word “cannot” was never in Morgan’s vocabulary, and this is what causes her to be such an inspiration to our entire community. The whole town has supported Morgan from when she was a child, coming out to cheer for her at her tee-ball games, her basketball games, and Morgan would never fail to make everyone proud.

The most astounding example of support from our community came in 2015, when Morgan held a benefit for CHD awareness that raised money for CHOP’s cardiac department. Hundreds of people came out, donated, and enjoyed the festivities. She ended up raising over $20,000, with an original goal of a mere $5,000. I think that really goes to show how much of an inspiration Morgan is to those around her. I have no doubt that she will continue to amaze and inspire for years to come.

Morgan’s YouTube Channel:

Morgan’s Blog:


About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Shelby Berger

Shelby is a freshman in college, majoring in advertising, that has had an interest in videography since she was twelve years old. When she was younger, she used to make silly videos with her friends for fun, and over the years, her interest in video making has grown. Her mother is a photographer, so she has always been around cameras from when she was a little girl, and aspires to incorporate her talents in video and photography into a career one day.


  1. Amazing story…amazing young women……I have a child with a CHD……it is very hard to watch and go through……I know Shelbys aunt and have seen Morgan at sporting events…..amazing..strong…….beautiful young lady……….I think there should be many more events ….information on CHD …..I personally myself really never heard of the extent of it until my daughter had to have surgery…….CHOP is an amazing place and Morgan is also……stay strong…….love you amazing heart warrior!!!!!!

  2. I did an interview on Morgan during my bachelor’s degree for psychology as project to contemplate if this effected her psychologically or not, she says it has made her stronger if anything. As you can really has over the years. Maybe a bit here and there it may upset her as it would anyone but for the most part she is truly one of the most amazing, strongest women I know. In times when I feel bad for myself or agitated about things about myself or that go wrong in my life somehow she comes to my mind reminding me thay my struggles are nothing compared to hers. Her smile melts your heart, and all she has been through and because of who she is its phenominal of how she has touched my life as well as everyone who knows her. All I want to do is hug her when I do see her. Shelby is so lucky to have her as her best friend and well Morgan and Shelby have grown up together and are so lucky to have one another. And our family is so lucky to have been blessed with her in our lives as well.
    You are special Morgan, because of who you are not just because of your CHD. even though you may not think so…you do a have a big heart theoretically and put it into everything and everyone you love. It’s an honor to be in your life Morgan and I hope this video Shelby made for you will be seen by hundreds and be inspired just as everyone who knows you is. Your heart condition awareness is important and should be made aware of for others who have problems and realize they are fighters too. I’m sure your video Shelby made, that is so important will just show a little bit of who you are and inspire others too as you have done for so many already……Xoxoxo we love you!