Rebecca Zwass-Brown was born with a heart defect.
In her 22 years, she's had five open-heart surgeries.
But a new procedure being used at Wolfson Children's Hospital may one day make surgeries like those unnecessary and give new hope to children who are born with the same condition.
Zwass-Brown recently got married and graduated from the University of North Florida.
A month ago, she had a relatively pain-free heart procedure that saved her life. She was sent home the next day with just aspirin after she had her pulmonary valve replaced.
What's more incredible is that it was replaced not with open heart surgery as in the past, but with a catheter inserted through her leg.
Dr. Robert English is using the technique at Wolfson Children's Hospital.
"If you're able to go in with a catheter, you avoid opening up the chest, stopping the heart to put the valve in and it's much quicker recovery for them," English said.
The benefits of this procedure are pretty apparent. Doctors use a tool to puncture a hole in a patient's thigh, into the vein, and then thread a catheter up to the heart. Compare that to a 6-inch incision doctors would have to make in someone's chest to do open heart surgery.
Children who need the heart valve typically have several surgeries because their bodies grow but the valve doesn't.
If the procedure becomes widely used, it would cut out a lot of pain and recovery time for the patient.
"The valves seem to be lasting a long time, so it will ultimately reduce the number of surgeries patients have to have," English said.
For Zwass-Brown, she's happy for the support she receives from her new husband.
"He's awesome. For him to stick by me, I know he's going to stick with me the rest of my life," she said.
Her new degree and a new heart valve are also making her future look awfully bright.
"I feel great. I feel healthier now, and I feel better that I can have this surgery as many times as I need instead of worrying about going through my chest," she said.
The procedure has been used in Europe for 10 years, but it's now being used in clinical trials in the U.S. So far it's got a more than 95 percent success rate.