Joan, born 1966
My child's hearts story is about me. I was born in 1966 with Tetralogy of Fallot. My parents noticed when I would cry my lips would turn blue. After a correct diagnosis I had my 1st surgery at age 2, this was a shunt to help my breathing. At age six I had my second heart surgery, pulmonary valve repair. I would see a Cardiologist until I was 12. After that I "forgot" I was born with a heart condition. I did everything my friends could do. Bike ride, swim play sports graduated HS went to nursing school. Got married and when I was 27 gave birth to my first child. I was a high risk pregnancy and was followed closely. He was born a healthy baby. at age 30 I had my second child and at age 34 had my third baby. I had no cardiac problems through my pregnancies. My children are now 23, 20 and 14 years old and are happy and healthy. At age 40 I noticed my blood pressure was elevated, when I went to see a new Cardiologist I was sent to Boston Children's Hospital where I saw their BACH team. They specialize in adults who were born with CHD. In the past 11 years I have had another open heart surgery, pace maker and a melody valve. I just returned from a trip to Italy to see my cousin get married. Medicine has come a long way since 1966. I live a happy, healthy life and am great full for the excellent doctors at Children's Hospital
I was able to watch both my children graduate HS, My son graduated College, I just returned from a trip to Genoa Italy where I was able to walk slowly but I did it!!! I plan on going back to school to continue my nursing education and hopefully one day (not to soon) hold my grandchildren.
Story by Joan - Massachusetts
Julia, born 2008
Emmanuelle, born 2003