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Posts by Stephanie Swirsky

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On CHD and Traveling

by Stephanie Swirsky on Friday, Aug 04, 2017

When I found out that I was going to Cuba with CubaOne on their TuCuba Literary trip, I thought about the Cuba I see in photos on the news and Instagram. A run-down Cuba and beautiful Cuba. A Cuba that is trapped in time, and Cuba that is rapidly progressing forward.

I also couldn't help but wonder, if Dan were still alive, could he travel to Cuba? Dan had tricuspid atresia, an uncommon and serious form of CHD.

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Forever Affected by Congenital Heart Disease

by Stephanie Swirsky on Wednesday, Jul 13, 2016

Titles have always played a tricky role in my relationship with Dan. When we met, we were teenagers and spent way too much time trying to define our relationship. For years, we moved between friends, friends with benefits, and boyfriend and girlfriend.

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My Own Distinct Voice

by Stephanie Swirsky on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016

Guilt is hard to let go. After Dan died, I couldn't stop thinking about all I could have done. I should have called his doctor when he was feeling strange a few months before he died. I should have known he was a month late for his annual exam. I should have known that something wasn't right.

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Moving Through Grief

by Stephanie Swirsky on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2015

This past November 3rd marked the 7-year anniversary of Dan's death. It was a strange anniversary for me; I felt better—better than I ever thought I could without Dan. When Dan died, I was incredibly sad. For years, I didn't know how to feel any other emotion.

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Turning Grief Into Purpose

by Stephanie Swirsky on Wednesday, Jul 22, 2015

Dan told me about his heart condition three days after we met. We were at a week-long national convention for Jewish teens, and if you wanted to get to know someone, you had to do it fast. I didn’t think much of it. Tricuspid atresia felt like some fancy word for something that happened long in the past, and now Dan was alive, healthy, and ready to embark on his first year at Yale.

Dan and I connected instantly. Even though he lived in Providence, and I lived in New Jersey—we stayed in touch, went to prom together, and even when we were in college (he at Yale, me at NYU), we continued to date.

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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.

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