Recent Entries
The Silver Thread Returns
Stress, Anxiety, Fear, Oh My!
Not Cured
Moving Through Grief
CHD and Our Financial Futures
The Gift of Time
The Emotional Rollercoaster of Getting Bad News
My Very First Congenital Heart Walk
Announcing Our Updated Clinic Directory


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.

By ACHA on 1/27/2015 11:55 AM

By James Bachenheimer

CHD is the best thing to ever happen to me.

Growing up in the 1980s and 90s with a congenital heart defect was not easy and it sure did not feel "normal." After all, my generation had to rely on playing outside, which was something my little defective heart could not tolerate well. In typical Jimmy fashion I would play till I passed out or ended up in the hospital with my doctor always saying, “Jim, you know your limits.” Of course I knew my limits, but even at an early age I would push myself until I fell over—I just wanted to be normal.

By ACHA on 5/5/2014 11:59 AM

By James Bachenheimer

Being born with a single ventricle, my life was filled with challenges before I even knew how to hold my head up. By the time I was five years old I had already undergone four open heart operations, so I never really knew what it was like to be a healthy, active boy. I was Jimmy, the kid with the bad heart, the kid who you couldn't tackle while playing football, the kid who wore heart monitors to school—my health would always be what defined my life.

I reached adulthood and already had another operation under my belt (I was 11), the only one I truly remember before my 20s. I honestly never thought I would live to 30 but here I was about to turn 29. I was feeling pretty decent. On my 29th birthday I walked into a bar and sat down and chatted with a pretty blonde bartender.