How can a child with a complex congenital heart defect survive multiple surgeries resulting in a funky anatomy and then have a successful heart transplant experience? What was it like to be a child with a congenital heart defect in the 1970s when open-heart surgery for children was something new? Why would a Heart Warrior experience Survivor's Guilt?
Leslie Castro is a 47-year-old former single ventricle patient from Pennsylvania. She was born with tricuspid atresia, pulmonary stenosis, and multiple other heart defects, and had the Classic Fontan at the age of 12 in 1985.
Just over a year ago, she received a heart transplant. Her donor was a 29-year-old woman who was a Hepatitis C positive intravenous drug user, and Leslie had to take a case study drug to avoid contracting the virus. Leslie had a very bumpy road to recovery with multiple complications involving her brain, heart, and lungs, and required procedures after the transplant to alleviate a brain bleed and drain fluid from her lungs.
Fortunately, today Leslie is doing well and she is here to talk to us about her early life growing up with a heart defect, and how she feels as a survivor today.
Links That May Interest You:
The obituary of Leslie's beloved surgeon
The hospital where Leslie had her surgeries
Anna's Buzzsprout Affiliate Link (if you'd like to try Buzzsprout for your podcast and get a bonus gift card -- and Anna will, too!)
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