There’s no better way to test-drive a heart than to run a marathon. Anna Borghesani, a 41-year-old scientist and part-time fitness instructor from the United Kingdom ran the 2014 London Marathon just 15 months after open-heart surgery.

Immediately upon entering this world, doctors didn’t think Borghesani, who was born in Italy, would survive. Because she had pulmonary stenosis, a congenital heart defect , she didn’t even have the strength to cry as a baby. So, she had her first open-heart surgery at three years old to enlarge the narrowed pulmonary valve.

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