I'm an 11 time heart surgery survivor, I was born with congenital heart disease in 1981. The doctor that delivered me, told the nurse that assisted him that the child he delivered wouldn't live to see his first birthday. He was speaking from experience, his own daughter had died at the age of 4 months from a similar condition to mine.
I had my first miracle at 4 months that allowed me to live another 4 years before having my first heart surgery to repair a hole in my heart. I had another 3 surgeries when I was 11, which turned my hair from light brown to dark black (no complaints there!). At 11, I also had my first mechanical valve installed (Mitral) and my first pacemaker. Unfortunately the doctor at UVA at the time was supposed to do a Konno Procedure, however botched the surgery by popping some holes in my mitral and aortic valves. A few weeks later, I had to go in for my second surgery in a few weeks and that was to replace my mitral valve with a mechanical. That is when my hair color changed. The stress on my body was just to much. After the surgery, I began to bleed internally and I had internal bleeding for 3 months. My family and I lived in Southern VA at the time and the closest heart hospital to us that we could go to was in Roanoke VA. Every week for 3 months we drove two hours up and two hours back to get a blood transfusion so I wouldn't die.
It was during one of these last visits that a kind Nurse that was just getting ready to retire, saw me and told Mom "He's not going to make it much further like this". She asked us to stick around for a few hours while she made some calls. She called the Mayo Clinic and the following day we met a private air ambulance at the small airport near our home. The Mayo Clinic sent that plane to us for free and they transported Mom and I to Rochester, MN for my 3rd surgery that year. It was then that I met IMHO the best heart surgeon in the world, Dr. Francisco Puga. He met me before the surgery and said that I was going to do just fine. What a good man. Dr. Puga performed my last 6 heart surgeries, including my aortic valve replacement in 1999. After my Aortic valve replacement, I again had another chest bleed when I got home and I actually passed away in my own home, thankfully I was able to call 911 before dying and my Aunt, like all good country folk, =) , had a police scanner on in her house and she heard the 'tones' being called for me. She rushed over to my home (we lived about 10 miles away) and by the time she arrived, I had already collapsed and had suffocated on my own blood (left lung collapsed). She said there was blood everywhere, she called 911 and they walked her through CPR. She brought me back to life. Interestingly enough, today my aunt and her entire family (7 kids) are all firefighters, EMT's, and Nurses. =) It's amazing how God works these things out. God used my life event to inspire my aunt to become an EMT and thereby, her family have been used as tools to bring life back into so many peoples lives.
One of the other things that was botched up from UVA and that fateful surgery in 1992 was when that mad doctor was popping holes in my heart, he caused me to suffer tachycardia's, so at the age of 11, I had my first pacemaker installed to help get me out of arrhythmia's. I now manage these between my pacemaker and vagel maneuvers.
All in all, I have had 11 heart surgeries, 12 catheterizations, and 3 pacemaker implants.
Life is a beautiful and it is a gift to be alive. That is my outlook on life. =)
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
My surgery date is:
September 4, 2006
I was diagnosed with:
My surgery was:
Aortic Valve Replacement
Aortic Valve Repair
Mitral Valve Replacement
Mitral Valve Repair