1/14/2013 4:46 PM
I was born in 1950 in Phoenix, Arizona with tetralogy of Fallot. Had a Blalock/Taussig shunt in 1953 at the University of California Hospital, Oakland. Grew up in Virginia Beach and Norfolk and was quite cyanotic in my grade school years. Had difficulty playing active games with kids and was very winded climbing stairs. I would walk a block, sit down for five minutes then walk another block.
My family moved to Minnesota in 1961 and I had open-heart surgery at the University of Minnesota Hospital in 1962. I still remember every bit of it. My surgeon was Dr. Varco. I had a VSD repair. I was at the Variety Club Heart Hospital recovering and have many memories of that place. The result was remarkable. I then went to college (1969-1975, Univ. of Minn.) and then had a 30-year career as a forester, mostly in northern Minnesota. I am grateful for this.
I had more open-heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic-Rochester in 2000. Have since had three catheter ablations and an implanted ICD. Have skated many Northshore Inline Marathons. Am still healthy at 62 and enjoying retirement. Play music for hospice patients. I am still married to my wife Sally for 37 years and have two grown daughters, Katy and Kelly. I was born at the time to receive the gift of a fulfilling life thanks to the medical advances in CHD.