RETURN TO MEET KIDS WITH HEART
When Dana was three months old, she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Ebstein’s Anomaly. That meant that one of her heart valves – the tricuspid – was malformed.
At first we thought that there must be some mistake. There was no way our perfect baby girl (our 3rd of 4 children) could have a serious health issue. We were told that nothing I did (or didn’t do) during my pregnancy could have caused this defect and that the valve would have to be repaired or replaced eventually.
When Dana was 16 months old, she had open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic. She had a porcine (pig) valve put in and her recovery was complete.
Dana went on to live a normal, active life. She played sports and kept up with other normal, healthy kids.
In January of 2011, she began to tire easily and got winded when she ran in gym class and walked up stairs. Dana’s cardiologist, whom we had been seeing once a year, told us that her valve was not functioning properly anymore and that when children grow, the pig’s valve doesn’t grow with them. She needed a newer and larger valve.
On June 2, 2011 we went back up to Mayo to have her valve replaced again. She was released from the hospital four days later and recovered quickly. She was swimming, playing softball and participating in dance class within a few weeks! Many people that haven’t seen her scar, don’t even know she is a cardiac patient.
We are so thankful for all of Dana’s kind healthcare professionals and their expertise. We are also fortunate that she was born in an era when technology – especially involving the heart – is so abundant!
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