Recent Entries
Summer Vacation: Tips for Traveling with CHD
How Do You Start Your Morning?
Balancing Parenting & Congenital Heart Disease
The First Five Years
My Journey to a Grateful Life
Now What?
Medical Home Sweet Home
Still Cliché’?
To My Village: Thank You
Education is Key in Spreading the Word about CHD


The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, 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 by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

Finally Living Life

Oct 13

Posted by: ACHA
10/13/2011 3:09 PM  RssIcon

By Becca Atherton

Hi everyone, my name is Becca. I love writing so I figured that I would start a blog and that since I am living with tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia and pulmonary hypertension I would write about being chronically ill.

I want to take my feelings and use the written word to transform lives and bring awareness to these diseases. I hope to impact people and let others know just how truly special people who are chronically ill are.

As a freshman in college, I have had many people ask me about my future and for the first time I realize that I have a shot at going into the future. I have been so sick for so long, but this year I am truly thriving. I have started college and I haven’t missed a day yet due to being too tired to get up in the morning.

I got my driver's license (even though I was scared). I joined the school’s newspaper staff and even made new friends in my classes. It has taken a lot of work to get where I am today; but it was all worth it.

I am finally living life and I want to remind you all to do the same. Try not to worry as much (despite how scary it is) and live your life. We truly only get one chance and we understand that more than anyone else. So when you wake up in the morning, smile to yourself and remember “I made it to this day, I can make it to the next.”

Becca Atherton was born with tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia and pulmonary hypertension. She was adopted as a baby into a large multiracial family, where she is the second youngest. Becca was given a 13% chance of surviving to the age of five, but she is 19 years old and a college freshman at her local community college. She loves to read, perform American Sign Language to music and write on her blog.

Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

5 comment(s) so far...


Re: Finally Living Life

Dear Becca,

I am so happy for you. I just joined the ACHA community, and finding your post today could not have been more timely for me. I'm in the middle of final exams in medical school and the stress is so high, but you reminded me to take a step back and look at the big picture. Every day of our lives is a gift, especially when it sometimes feels like we are living on borrowed time, with adult congenital heart disease being a young and largely mysterious field to the medical community. So many patients feel defeated and DO live in fear with their diagnosis--and it's very refreshing to hear from a young person like myself who just takes it a day at a time and is not afraid to live life to the fullest. I do not have the defects that you do; I simply had a prosthetic mitral valve replacement as a child, but I know too well, that feeling of fear or cautiousness over simple things like driving a car--things our peers don't even think twice about. For the odds you've beaten and all the life you've lived thus far: I solute you! Rock on, Becca.


By Sara on   10/15/2011 11:23 PM

Re: Finally Living Life

PS, I saw from your blog that you turned 19 on October 12. A day later when you posted this, I turned 24 :) Congratulations, again.

By Sara on   10/15/2011 11:26 PM

Re: Finally Living Life

Hi Sara,

I hope everything is going well for you! Thanks for the wonderful comment. :D I actually turned 19 on October 9th; I just didn't post that on my blog till the 12th. He-he. Happy belated birthday to you though!!

- Becca

By Becca on   10/16/2011 12:01 AM

Re: Finally Living Life

Hi Becca!

Just wanted to give you a little encouragement. I'm 40 and I have tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. I'm doing fairly well. I feel the same about encouraging others. My total correction surgery was 30 years ago last Saturday. Keep looking forward.


By Michael on   10/18/2011 10:55 AM

Re: Finally Living Life

Glad to hear you are living life :) I am 34 with TOF.. All we can do is make life the best we can everyday! I have 2 children That I am thankful for everyday. Embrace life, The sky is the limit! :)

By Jennifer on   10/21/2011 10:34 AM

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel