Gabriel Santana was born in São Paulo Brazil in 1988 with hypoplastic right, single ventricle, ventricular septal defect and a heart murmur. At first the doctors thought Gabriel only had a heart murmur and sent him home. After almost a year Gabriel’s condition worsened as he developed pneumonia and started experiencing fluid in the sac around his heart.
Doctors then diagnosed his heart condition and he went into the care of Dr. Egito at Osptal do Corasão (Hospital of Hearts) in São Paulo. He spent the majority of his first five years in the hospital having his first surgery at only 1 year of age and then another at 2. After the age of 5 Gabriel was able to start having a more normal life. After his parents divorced, he and his mother moved to the United States. In 2011 he had his 3rd heart surgery.
Tune in to hear Gabriel share his story with us and tell us what new challenges he is facing as an adult with a congenital heart defect.