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When Congenital Heart Defects are Diagnosed After Infancy

  • Broadcast in Health
Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna


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Catherine Alling Reyes is a retired school librarian who was born with a bicuspid aortic valve (or BAV) and a coarctation of the aorta (or CoA). Her CoA was repaired when she was 8 years old and she thought her heart defect was "fixed." Twelve years ago at the age of 44, she had an open-heart surgery to repair an ascending aortic aneurysm, which had been 5 cm, unknown to her, for 5 years. She still has her BAV and a stable descending aortic aneurysm. 

What life changes have occurred since Catherine's heart defects required attention? How has her life been affected by the changes in her heart? What future concerns might she have?