I was born in 1982 with a rare congenital heart defect known as an endocardial cushion defect with a hypoplastic left ventricle. In laymen’s terms, I was born with a weakened left ventricle which would take a pulmonary banding in my infancy to the time I was eight years old, when I underwent an experimental procedure known as a modified fontan. The day I was born, doctors could not regulate my temperature and they did not know how about your heart problem until the second day when they noticed a very loud heart murmur. As medical science has advanced in the last twenty-nine years, this particular condition could even be cured in utero. I’ve been told that I may be the oldest living survivor of my particular condition. With the introduction of pulse oximetry screenings, conditions like mine have become something that can be detected early and corrected much more easily than they were in my personal case. Now, I live a full life, unencumbered by the restraints of most people living with CHD and well past the “expiration date” that doctors had given me when I was born. My borrowed time is now old enough to drink, and I show no signs of slowing down.
17 Sep 2012
Len Wallace, Connecticut