Mended Little Hearts Open Forum

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Congenital Heart Kid Becomes Doctor

  • 1.  Congenital Heart Kid Becomes Doctor

    Posted 08-03-2017 23:16

    Hey everyone,

    I was born with Double Outlet Right Ventricle (Transposition of the Great Arteries, Ventricular Septal Defect, Pulmonary Stenosis). I have had five open heart surgeries. I had the Rastelli procedure twice and a valve replacement three times. Because of scar tissue, I had ventricular tachycardia of 294 beats per minute on a school playground during the fifth grade. It lasted for an hour and it got me a nice internal pacemaker-defibrillator. In total, I have had 5 defibrillator placement/replacement operations. I also have experienced atrial fibrillation for an entire weekend and other various supra ventricular tachycardia episodes.

    Through it all, I followed my dreams. I worked hard and got into my dream college, The University of Notre Dame. After studying hard there, I attended an osteopathic medical school in South Carolina. I was one of the top in my class, graduating with a 3.97 GPA and scoring quite well on national boards. Thanks to some extracurricular activities - including raising $900 for Mended Little Hearts in a walk - I managed to match into my top residency choice: Greenville Health Systems Pediatric Residency in South Carolina. I hope to one day get into a pediatric cardiology fellowship and then become an attending. My goal is to connect with children with congenital heart disease and show that I understand the physical, the mental, and the emotional pain of these disorders.

    I just started my intern year last month. The day before I started residency, one of my heroes - my pediatric cardiologist - passed away. I'll be honest, I cried. My parents attended his funeral. Not only was he the inspiration for going into medicine, he was an exceptional person. His passion for the field of pediatric cardiology was just contagious and I don't think he ever worked a day in his life.

    As big of a role as he was, I would not be here today if it weren't for my parents. They have been there for me every step of the way from all of the surgeries and the days/nights afterward in the hospital to the long days of a clinic visit (including the hour car ride each way). I'll be honest, I was probably depressed when I was younger. I hated not being normal. I hated having the heart I had. But they were always there for me when I was down on myself and to lift me back up. I know that unless you're a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon you cannot fix your child's heart, but with your love and support, you will help your child's heart heal each and every day.

    I hope my post was somewhat inspiring for each of you. Please don't let your child give up on their dreams. They can do it with your love and support. If you want to reach out here or to my personal email to chat, I will be more than happy to when I can. 

    Maybe one day I will see you and your child in my clinic. 

    Dr. Leo Przybylowski III, D.O.
    Greenville, SC

  • 2.  RE: Congenital Heart Kid Becomes Doctor

    Posted 08-25-2017 16:08

    Hello and thank you for sharing your heart journey.  My CHD warrior son is 12 years old, born with complex single ventricle and other CHD's; he's had the BT Chunt, The Glenn (7-12-2005) and The Fontan (7-6-2009).  I recently joined this online group (Mended Little Hearts) and posted my intro in the welcome and introduce yourself thread.

    Best wishes to you.

    **heart hugs** 

    Yvonne, heart mom to Bryce (complex single ventricle and other CHD's, Fontan 7-6-2009)

  • 3.  RE: Congenital Heart Kid Becomes Doctor

    Posted 01-30-2018 10:44
    My heart warrior has also decided to become a nurse because of all of the wonderful nurses that helped her through her journey. She is currently finishing out her junior year and her clinical is at a Children's Hospital in Buffalo. She hopes to be able to float to the cardiac floor. She believes her story will also help the Cardio children but also the parents to see that after all the struggles she is a healthy 21 year old being able to accomplish her dream. You both are inspirations !!

    Peggy McDonald
    Eden NY
    (716) 992-4329