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My Story

Real Stories from People living with a Heart Defect

Photo: Nick
Nick's Story

As Susan May welcomed the birth of her son Nick, she thought everything seemed normal. However, as she asked, “Is my baby fine?” the initial smiles surrounding her quickly changed to whispers and concerned looks. Susan did not realize then that the adventure had only begun as tests soon revealed that her baby had a congenital heart defect.

After Nick had three difficult open heart surgeries, his doctors decided that he could survive only with a heart transplant. Just before his second birthday, Nick received his new heart. Although Nick is 21 years old now and doing well, he and his parents still worry about transplant rejection and the future. “I think about the pain and frustration we have been through, and my hope for other families is that we can find out what causes congenital heart defects so that we can prevent them,” added Susan.

CDC would like to thank Susan and Nick for sharing this personal story.

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