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Welcome! Introduce yourself!

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Arlene Britt02-23-2017 11:20

  • 1.  Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 02-23-2017 11:14
    Hi everyone!

    We are just now starting to build our amazing online community. Welcome aboard this exciting new project. Please take the time to introduce yourself. I'll start!

    I am Andrea Baer, Director of Patient Advocacy here at Mended Hearts and Mended Little Hearts. I also have a son who was born with a congenital heart defect and have been a part of this organization since 2009. I'm also your community manager here at Connections in a Heartbeat! You can reach out to me anytime with questions or help. 

    Looking forward to connecting and sparking some great conversations. 


    Andrea Baer
    Grapeville PA
    (724) 396-7820

  • 2.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 02-23-2017 11:20

  • 3.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 02-23-2017 12:00
    Hi Arlene!

    Glad you could join us. What a great way to give back with your degree and using it to fulfill your passions.

    Andrea Baer
    Grapeville PA
    (724) 396-7820

  • 4.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 06-26-2018 10:21
    Hello everyone, I'm new to Mended Hearts. Last year in March of 2017, I had unexpected open heart bypass surgery. It's been a long struggle for me, not only am I facing  new life changes, I'm also learning how to control my blood sugar being a type 2 Diabetic. It all started having surgery on my left shoulder on Friday March 24 2017, I was recovering over the weekend, things seem to go well until March 27th on my youngest daughter's birthday I wasn't feeling quiet well. We celebrated her birthday with dinner, which I had no appetite to eat and everyone was asking if I was feeling ok. After dinner, we went home, and I fell asleep on the couch, waking up around 1:00 a.m. to a strange pain in my chest like I couldn't breathe, my youngest daughter was scared and called the ambulance.  I was admitted to St Anthony's hospital emergency. It wasn't until 7:00 a.m they took me into another room and I was met by a cardiologist. Did some testing and he didn't like the way it looked, so we did a catheral scan  which they put some type of dye in my system to see how my heart was functioning. When I was starting to wake up from the procedure there I found my daughters and best friend walking in crying with the doctor behind them. He said I had a big blood clot sitting at the bottom of my heart and 5 arteries were blocked. I was in shocked, pretty much numb. Later that night they transfer me over to Baycare hospital because St Anthony's didn't have a operation room for cardiac patients. I must say the nurses and doctor were very wonderful. The doctor came in the next day and explained my surgery. To be honest I didn't think I was going to make it, and in seconds I found myself writing letters to my children. It was hard for my mom, knowing she couldn't be here with me, but I had one uncle and aunt who flew to Florida from Palm Springs to be by my side. While I was waiting for surgery, I texted my close cousin from back home and told her only because she been through heart surgery not once but twice. She told me what to expect. At that time, she also was in the hospital too.  She had a bad kidney infection. After surgery, I was released from the hospital within a week and by the time I got home and settled in, I got a call from my cousins back home to tell me my cousin was not going to make it, kidney infection went to sepsis and  her organs were failing. Two days after that news, my family called to tell me she passed away, she was only 36 years old and fighting Lupus. I was devastated, and my aunt had to try to calm me down because I wasn't suppose to be upset in any way recovering from surgery. It was so hard. I wasn't able to travel either for the funeral. My recovery has been long and depressing. And here I'am today hoping to move forward in a positive way, and most of all to be strong for my children and grandchildren. Thank you all for listening.

    Maria Elliott
    License Ins Rep
    St. Petersburg FL

  • 5.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 06-27-2018 15:06
    I read your story with interest and know your story will be valuable to other survivors.  As a survivor, I am a Mended Hearts Visitor and would recommend it to  you as a  way to  give back to those who are experiencing what you have experienced.

    Wm George Hess
    Woodstock GA
    (404) 452-8464

  • 6.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 05-05-2021 19:31
    You are a real trooper!

    Columbus, Ohio

  • 7.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 02-28-2017 08:15
    Good morning, all! 

    My name is Nicole, and I'm in Arlington, VA. I'm a medical writer/editor (trained as a pharmacist). I hit my 6-month post-op recovery date on 2/26, just a couple of days ago, after OHS to replace a congenital bicuspid aortic valve (I opted for a St Jude tissue valve) and to assess a growing aneurysm in the ascending aorta. Surgery at Inova Heart and Vascular went well, and recovery isn't going too badly either, but I'm looking at (perhaps) another surgery for the aneurysm in the future. I'm excited to be part of this new community! 

    Nicole Van Hoey
    Arlington VA

  • 8.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 03-03-2017 12:16
      |   view attached
    Hello! My name is Geri. I am a mom of an 8 month old named Ryner,  with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He has had two open heart surgeries, the norwood procedure and a bidirectional bilateral Glenn procedure. We found out about his condition when I was 20 weeks. After he was born, he was sent to children's hospital. At two days old he had his first OHS. On December 22nd, he had his second OHS. He was not eating well by mouth after his Glenn so they sent him to the children's institute for a feeding program. He was there a few weeks but was not making any progress. They made the decision to send him home until his g tube surgery. He has been home with us about a month now. He has no ng tube, (he pulled it out) and it eating above his goal intake! His cardiologists gave us the ok to cancel the g tube surgery! Now he is learning, grow, and thriving everyday! My goal as a heart mom is to spread awareness about CHD and to provide support for others who are going through the obstacles and struggles that we went through! 

    Geri Hayes
    Monongahela PA
    (412) 339-9177

  • 9.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 03-03-2017 16:18
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    Hello. I'm Elaine. My son Zack has LQTS2 and will be 20 this May. He also has Pierre Robin Sequence which means he had a (repaired) cleft palate,etc. He's had many surgeries at Strong Hosp in Rochester and several at Boston Children's Hosp. I also have a nearly 18 year old daughter. Zack has struggled to cope with his diagnosis. It's really hard on him sometimes. He's a tough guy and really does well though given all he's been through. 

    Elaine Stickles
    Rochester NY
    (585) 723-9603

  • 10.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!

    Posted 03-07-2017 13:48
    Your son and my daughter would get a long GREAT! She was stubborn with her bottle feedings and just wanted food! She's now our snacker, all day long and full meals, since her pacemaker surgery in July she's been an eating machine. Shocking with only 4 teeth, she's 8 months post op and has been consistently putting weight on. Hallelujah! She and my 4 year old son, Cooper have Congenital Complete Atrioventricular Block. Cooper is unpaced and tolerating the lower heart rate well. Paisley did not and she was having some premature beats coming through, along with declining heart rate, failure to thrive since she was not gaining weight, she had her pacemaker put in July 29, 2016. 2 weeks post op she was full blown crawling all over the place! It was wonderful! So happy to see another CHD kiddo loving to eat now they feel so much better! He's adorable! 


    Lydia Howard
    Clovis CA
    (559) 917-2843

  • 11.  RE: Welcome! Introduce yourself!