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The Colliers, Kentucky

Six years ago, we had our fifth child, who was born with 4 congenital heart defects. Finn was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary stenosis, tricuspid valve regurgitation, and a very large ventricular septal defect. He had his first open heart surgery at 5 days old. 

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hero_image_alt_text===The Collier Family
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thumbnail_alt_text===The Collier Family

Finn's second and third surgeries soon followed at 5 months old, where he remained at the University of Michigan hospital for 2 months with complications from blood clots, a bacterial blood infection, and chest tubes that would not stop draining. 

In August of 2015, Finn had his fourth open heart surgery, and six weeks after the surgery he went into congestive heart failure due to a mitral valve leak, and coded for an hour. He was discharged one week later, but it took him six months to fully recuperate. In another 6 months, he will need his next procedure, but he does not let much keep him down.

We have loved being a part of the American Heart Association family and have been quite involved for a while. Finn will be a model at the Lexington Go Red for Women Luncheon in November, and most recently, we were asked to attend the Medical Research Rally in Washington, DC. We were honored to be invited, and enjoyed meeting some amazing people with even more amazing stories of their own. Our message was well-received on the Hill, and it is our hope that this support will continue so that one day, no one has to suffer.

It's amazing the strides that have been made medically in the last 10 years, and we can only imagine how many more lives will be saved from medical research funding in the next 10 years.

--Tricia Collier

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