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Former Rams cheerleader educated herself to save her life from rare medical condition

ST. LOUIS - A rare medical condition that doctors were unable to diagnose almost took the life of a former St. Louis Rams cheerleader.

However, she was saved in the nick of time and is now trying to help others with the condition.

“It’s been an amazing experience.”

Just a few years ago Danielle Goldsmith was healthy and living a dream. She was a Ram’s cheerleader and very active.

But in August on a hiking trip in Colorado, something went wrong.

“I remember looking at my boyfriend and saying I can’t breathe. I can’t see anything. I can’t hear anything. It was an out of body experience,” said Danielle Goldsmith.

That began over 3 months of painful episodes where Danielle would have severe chest pain, shortness of breath and unable to move.

Making matters worse, no medical professionals and countless tests could diagnose or cure her.

“When medical professionals are saying I was crazy, and had anxiety and panic attacks and not to worry about it, and in my mind when you're told that by medical professionals you start thinking am I crazy?” said Goldsmith.

Danielle started studying herself, she asked doctors if her symptoms were being caused by pectus excavatum? A condition where the breastbone sinks into the chest. She was tested with eco-cardiogram twice but nothing results were negative.

It wasn’t until October when at Barnes Jewish St. Louis that doctors decided to do a standing EKG, instead of lying down. It changed everything!

“When I stood up they could see from my EKG that my right ventricle was getting pinched off and I was losing 60% of my blood flow.”

But no doctors could do her life-saving surgery at BJC. So, she studied and found a doctor who could do the surgery in Phoenix.

“They drill 4 holes in your sternum, put a crane in and lift your chest off your heart and lungs.”

It was a success and now Danielle is encouraging people to be their own health advocates. She has her own YouTube channel and says many people are being misdiagnosed with asthma.

“If medical professionals don’t know enough about your health, you do your own research.”

Danielle has a GoFundMe page, ‘Danielle's Pectus Excavatum Surgery’.

Her YouTube channel is ‘Danielle's Pectus Excavatum Journey’ where she helps people who suffer from conditions she did.