Friday, September 22, 2006

I was born on May 15th 1980 with a Congenital Heart Defect identified as a Single Left Ventricle. I underwent 3 major open heart surgeries, a Blalock Shunt, Glenn Shunt, and Fontan at the age of 8. After all surgeries seemed to work temporary, I continued to have Tachycardia, the abnormal rapid beating of the heart. At age 11, I was fitted for a pacemaker to overcome the tachycardia episodes. Finally, after all routes had been taken to correct my CHD, the only finally resource left was heart transplantation. After extensive testing, I was placed on the list for a heart transplant on my 12th Birthday, May 15th, 1992. Less then 2 months later on July 7th 1992, I received my heart transplant at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

By the end of July, I was almost fully recovered. I still had a drainage tube inserted inside of me and for some time now the doctors were getting concerned as to when the drainage would stop. After a couple of days passed and drainage still seeping, the doctors finally decided that on the following morning they would have to go back inside and determine why the drainage would not stop. Well, the following morning, the doctors came in and to their surprise and amazement the drainage had come to a complete stop and clear from any retention around the heart. They were at odds as to how to explain it. All I knew was that what had happened to me was nothing short of a miracle. The previous night, we all gathered and had a prayer vigil, asking the Lord to intervene and help protect me and recover. I personally prayed to help keep me brave and not so scared about going into surgery or being put under anesthesia.

Now, 14 years later, I have had no rejection and a strong supporter of organ donation and CHD awareness. My main volunteer time is with a CHD support group for families called Heart to Heart here in Dallas, Texas, as well as with The Make A Wish Foundation or North Texas and the Southwest Transplant Alliance of North Texas. Sharing my story with many others who are going through what I went through makes me feel good and to let them know that with the technology and advancement in medicine, there is so much hope that needs to be held on to no matter how bad it may seem.

Mario Enrique Romero, Jr.

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