My name is Rahil and I am in the 3rd grade. When I was born, my parents thought I had a beautiful face and gorgeous eyes, but they didn’t realize until later that I had also brought with me a heart murmur. My pediatrician suspected that the slish-slosh sound coming from my little heart was a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). The walls of my heart hadn’t fully fused and there was a dime-sized hole between my left and right ventricles.
My diagnosis was confirmed when I was 6 weeks old by a wonderful and amazing pediatric cardiologist at Loyola. Dr. Griffin had a magical way with me that new parents can only look at with awe. I was poked and prodded, time and time again, but I didn’t mind.
Dr. Griffin monitored my progress for the next 12 months, hoping that the hole would fuse spontaneously, as can happen in many cases. I wasn’t so lucky, though, and when I was just over a year old, I underwent open-heart surgery to mend the hole in my heart.
Now I’m eight years old and enjoy sharing my smile with others. I love to learn and I’m innately curious about how things work. In my heart I will always carry a little patch – a tapestry, sewn with love and a little help from my family, nurses, doctors and the miracles of modern medicine.