I'd like to share my story of heart health with you. I am an EMT, American Heart BLS & CPR Instructor, Lifeguard Instructor and I work at the University of Alaska Anchorage as a Recreation Supervisor. I have always known the importance of Heart Health and have always taken it very seriously in my teachings. I have some family history, a Grandmother with Heart Disease (she's still going strong at 96) and a Father with an enlarged heart. About a year and a half ago after having a seizure at 45, I myself underwent extensive medical testing in everything imaginable. This included heart testing at the Alaska Heart Institute, where it was determined that I had two minor problems, a leaky aorta valve and a slight heart murmur. Still not too bad and nothing to worry about at this point (although still don't know why I started having seizures). So I went about my normal business of teaching everyone else on staff about Health and Safety and more recently awaiting the impending arrival of our second Grandchild, a little girl due 11-11-11. That's when the bottom fell out:
When my daughter and son-in-law came back from a visit with the OBGYN they came back with the news they needed to see a Pediatric Heart Specialist. After visiting Dr. David Brauner and they determined little Andrea Joy had VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) and that it will require medication and most probably surgery as the hole is too big to close on it's own. Now we wait as the impending C-Section date comes up on us and what challenges will be in store for little Andrea Joy. One would think with my background that I could take this in stride yet it was as if a prize fighter had hit me in the gut. It is a very helpless feeling and I know at this point all I can do is make sure my entire family is trained in Pediatric CPR and get ready for babysitting my Grandson Noah (Andrea's big brother). I'm not sure what the future holds for little Andrea but I'm thankful for all the trained heart specialists that will be on hand to see that little Andrea Joy gets a better chance at a normal life. The strides that have been made in our heart care medical field is very inspiring and I for one even have a greater appreciation for it.
Thanks for listening to my story and have a great day. :-)