This I Believe

Katie - Indian Head Park, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

On February 22, 1992, I was two months old when my parents rushed me to the emergency room. I was barely breathing.

My parents started to get worried about me when I was about a month old. I could not keep anything in my stomach; I threw up mostly everything I ate. My mother was taking me to our doctor and he kept saying that he could not find anything wrong with me. After a while, my symptoms got much worse. I could not eat anything and I had trouble breathing. On Friday morning, my mother took me to the doctor’s office again and he told us to wait until Monday to go to the hospital if I did not get better. On Friday night, my mother took me to a family party and my aunt, who is a nurse, said “Get this baby to a hospital. She is very sick.”

When we got to the first hospital, they tried to operate on me, but the heart machines were too big for me. Then, I got transferred to Loyola hospital, and we found out what was wrong. My veins that were supposed to connect to my heart were connected in back of my heart. One chamber was getting all of the blood and was inflating. The other side was not getting any blood. The only thing keeping me alive was a hole in the wall of my heart. The extra blood would trickle into the other chamber of my heart. My heart condition is called Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venus Return. I had to have open heart surgery at two months old. The doctors that operated on me said if my family had waited until Monday to get me to a hospital, I would have been dead. This gave my family hope for the future. 2

I believe in second chances, even when it seems like there is1 no hope left. I like to think I made an impression on the doctors that operated on me. I hope that my case gave them inspiration to never give up on a patient or in the personal life.