Jun 19
joliepalillo , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

The 1% chance

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Hi, my name is Jolie, I'm 22 years old and I was born with a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of fallot, which is a defect that compromises the heart's valves and their productivity. By the time I was 20 it was time for my pulmonic and aortic valves to be replaced, and when I was 21 they were replaced. I was extremely nervous about this operation, I didn't know what to expect considering I didn't remember what my first surgeries were like since I was a baby. Every doctor kept telling me that there was a 1% chance of death, stroke, infection anything bad that could happen the chances were wildly slim. Everything seemed fine until October 2018, when I was about five months post op and running high sporadic fevers. We quickly went to the ER to find out that I was the 1% and one of my new valves had gotten endocarditis, an infection in that attacks the heart's valves. This meant that I was going to withdraw from college and move back home and wait while I received IV antibiotics to go back into the operating room. In November 2018 I received an ONx valve and I couldn't be happier. I'm now six and a half months post op and just started cardiac rehab. Even though this has been a tough year I'm feeling pretty great and ready to start feeling like me again !

  • KhmerGurl

    Hey Jolie. I'm so glad you went in for a surgery that sounds very alarm.  But glad your doing okay.  I was also born with the same heart defect since I was a baby and don't remember much either.   But I am 25 now and currently don't have any problems.  But mind if I ask you how you find out you had endocardits ?  . and is it only from dental hygiene? . thanks for your stories.  It really cool to hear from other people :) .

  • LaurenC8787

    Hi Jolie,

    I am glad you are feeling better! Its always a huge weight lifted off the shoulders when you start feeling like yourself again. 

    I am new the american heart foundation. I have a congential heart condition since birth too. I had surgies as a kid and a pacemaker surgery recently. Its not easy having surgies at our age, especially when our friends are doing other things... Thats what makes us stronger than those around us though.  Our experienes make us wiser and unique :)

    Stay Strong Girl! You will always shine through!

    Thanks for sharing your story!


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