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Farmer Wants a Wife: Jade and Nikko

When it comes to matters of the heart, The Farmer Wants a Wife's Jade has been through a lot.

My eyes went straight to Nikko!
Jade Truman, 26, Brisbane, Qld

As I sat down for a speed date with Farmer Nikko, I was in two minds. Part of me found it easy chatting to someone with similar interests, but the other part of me was hesitant at finding love in front of the cameras. My heart has been through a lot in the past and, these days, I have to protect it. I've only had one serious relationship in my life. It was with my high school sweetheart and there was a time we thought we'd be together forever.

But in 2010, after seven years, we drifted apart. As well as taking a battering in the emotion stakes, my heart has also been through a lot physically. I've always been fit and healthy, getting out on the touch footy field or going for long jogs. But at 19, my active lifestyle suddenly came to a halt. I was at the doctor's for a routine check when he discovered a murmur in my heart's rhythm. The news came as a shock but it was the cause of the murmur that was truly terrifying. Tests revealed I had a hole in my heart and it needed closing as soon as possible. Just a week later, I went under the knife.

Thankfully I didn't need open-heart surgery. Instead, incredibly, doctors were able to go through my groin to cover the hole with a titanium disc. The recovery afterwards was long and painful. I'd gone from running for kilometres to barely walking six metres without a rest. It was 12 agonising months before I finally got back on the touch footy field again. Today, my heart may have healed physically but I'm still protective of it emotionally. Earlier this year, I applied to go on The Farmer Wants A Wife. My sister Alana and I love the show and when we checked out the new Farmers' profiles online, my eyes went straight to Farmer Nikko.

Like me, he enjoys being active but we also share a love of the land. I have a fair bit of experience when it comes to the country lifestyle. My family owned a property west of Brisbane and we often escaped the rush of the city for a breath of fresh air. In school holidays, we'd visit relatives who had a sheep and cattle farm in NSW. I dreamt of living in the country for good some day. So when a producer told me I'd been accepted to go on the show, it wasn't the thought of the bush that scared me. Instead, it was trying to find love on camera. Could I really put my heart on the line in front of Australia? I came close to pulling out but I'm so glad I didn't.

It's a once in a lifetime experience and Nikko is such an easy-going guy. He makes me feel so comfortable. Who knows where that might lead? These days, with my strong and healthy heart, I hope to do a bit of travelling and after that, I might just settle down in the country. After all, there's nothing quite like a fit farming fella to really get the heart racing!

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