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Maria, 1985

Maria, born 1985

My name is Maria Elena and I was born in 1985 with Dextrocardia with Situs Inversus in 1985. I can only tell you what I remember and what I was told. My parents don't like to talk about it because they say it’s a dark past they want to leave behind.


When I was born I was missing a valve that never developed and now have an artificial valve that has to be replaced every so often. I had a feeding tube up until I was 2 years old and I do have a scar from it still. My lungs collapsed when I was 5 on my way to school. I remember it was raining and I was running with my mother because I was going to be late and all of a sudden everything went pitch black. When I somewhat recovered consciousness I was in an ambulance with my mother sitting next to me. I kept thinking I'm going to be ok. The last surgery I was 9 and I remember walking into the hospital thinking this is nothing. I always told by my parents that I will be ok don't be scared. I understand now kids don't understand the risks it is more of looking at the parents like if they trust the doctor they know what's best so they go in with complete confidence. At the age of 10 I found out my esophagus was smaller than what a normal person's should be because I was having lunch at school and like any child we were fooling around and a piece of hot dog got stuck in my throat I ended up going into surgery to have it removed. I then learned I have to chew my food twice as much as my siblings. This is as much as I can remember.


I am now 28 and loving life. I work and live on my own although I do get constant visits from my aunts and uncles as well as my cousins checking up on me or just a phone call to see if I am okay. I feel good, do follow up care and live a normal life.


Story by Maria - Canada

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