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By submitting your story and/or photo to ACHA, you are giving permission for your story and/or photo to be displayed on our website. The stories on this page are the property of the individual who has provided it. Stories may be edited for content. The experiences and opinions expressed are solely those of the individual, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied within these stories.

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Ashley

Jan 16

Posted by: ACHA
1/16/2013 11:03 AM  RssIcon

I was born in May of 1988 in Pittsburgh, PA. At birth I was a "blue baby" who lacked oxygen and doctors recognized this as a cardiac concern. I was immediately transported to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and underwent open heart surgery at 6 days of age.

I was the one of the only children born at this time who had the surgery at such a young age. My heart was the size of a quarter. Most children were required to wait until they were at least 2 years of age before they were able to receive surgery. However, my situation was so severe I would have died in days if I had not been treated. My defect is called Transposition of the Great Vessel. And it is only now, at 24 years of age that I am beginning to understand what that means, and what it means for my health.

I recently transitioned out of childhood and into the ACHD realm, and recently had my first MRI. I am definitely not your average young adult! I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to survive, and discovering this has been a lifelong process. I have always valued my life and safety above all else, as I believe that I was given life for a reason. My chest scar is my battle scar!

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