i'm 40. i was born with an asd, vsd, & coarctation of the aorta. i had a pda and a pulmonary banding.
i was pronounced healthy at birth, then after my first month checkup, i was diagnosed with congenital heart defects at about 5 weeks of age and had heart surgery for the coarct (end-to-end anast.) and banding (with subsequent removal and patch to open the narrowing - banned too much for my growth - they just had to guess) right away.
then, after more than a year of dear mom rushing me to the hospital about once a month in chf, i had open heart surgery at about 17 months of age to correct the rest and fix the pulmonary narrowing caused by the banding. (vsd closed on its own)
they were able to do this so *early* (this was 1967, remember) because cooley had come up with a new procedure to prime the heart/lung with whole blood instead of saline (or somesuch) - allowing operations on smaller babies than ever before. most of the babies with same/similar conditions around that time still died. i was the first, or one of the first (depends on which parent you ask. lol) to undergo the new procedure, and one of the lucky few to survive.
i have lived most of my life normally ever since (no meds/ normal activities/ no marathon sports). had a 9 lb. girl then 6 & 7 lb. twins. the twins preg. got to me and went into chf when they were 4 days old. i spent 3 days in the hospital on lasix. but after a couple of years on acupril and lasix, i am now just occasionally on lasix. cardiac output is just inside low-normal range.
i have a murmur, but they think it's just blood rushing over scar tissue. my favorite thing to do is go to a new doc and let them listen to my heart before i tell them my history.
their eyes get big as saucers. i sit back and enjoy it for a few seconds, then i spill the beans.
just curious what you modern-day picu nurses think about all this as it relates to how kids compare these days.