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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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Apr 11

Posted by: CaptainCardio
4/11/2013 2:19 PM  RssIcon

In December 1989 doctors gave my parents the news that they could lose their child due to a medical ailment. Immediately after my birth I had cyanosis around my lips and fingernails. Physicians ran more tests and diagnosed me with tetralogy of Fallot. A cardiologist wanted to operate right away but my parents refused and went for a second opinion.

After many appointments with cardiologists my parents decided to take me to the Weil Cornell Medical Center in New York City. Once my parents noticed that I was undergoing “tet spells” it was then time for the surgery. Upon catheterization the physicians in New York told my parents that I was a very good candidate to have the surgery and that I only needed one surgery. During the surgery my parents were very worried about me but they were reassured that their child was in good hands. After the surgery was complete doctors told my parents that it was a success and it was a full repair.

Growing up I had a very normal childhood. I had a normal appetite, was playing with my friends and was attending school without any issues. I would go to New York for routine checkups every year then it became every two years. The time came for me to play organized sports and I really wanted to play soccer but was not allowed due to the contact and strenuous activity. I then turned to baseball and enjoyed playing that. In high school I gained a huge passion for tennis. Tennis was listed under a strenuous activity so I was not allowed to participate. However, after speaking with my cardiologist and undergoing a cardiac stress test I was cleared to play tennis and excelled in the sport throughout high school. In addition to tennis I also gained a passion for exercising and keeping in good shape by running and lifting weights.

When I graduated from high school I attended Seton Hall University. At Seton Hall I participated in many extracurricular activities such as intramural sports, Habitat for Humanity, Biology Society, Alpha Phi Omega and Student Activities Board. During my time in college I gained various leadership experiences and two internships. One was shadowing a physician in the emergency department and the other was with the American Cancer Society. In May 2012 I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and currently I am a student at New York University studying surgical technology. I have aspirations to one day become a Physician’s Assistant and to work with children who have congenital heart disease. While going to endless doctor’s appointments and noticing the care they give to their patients I want to do the same and give back those who have congenital heart disease. I want to give children what physicians have given me: hope for the future and a healthier life.

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