1. I was born a blue-baby, this means that not only were my finger tips a pale blue, but I had trouble bringing air into my lungs like most normal babies do at birth - this was shortness of breath and it would hamper me till I was about 35.
2. I had a congential defect in that of a missing right breast muscle and a recessed right nipple. This would later be confirmed as a congential heart disease.
3. It was at age 6 months that my development was not where it should be and the MD's thru tests confirmed that I had a 'Hole in my heart'.
4. The other factor was I could not keep anything down milk/formula wise - the MD's and my folks had to do trial and error until they found that formula that I could keep down and finally start to develope and grow.
Being that this was 1947 - the MD's felt that the heart lung machine was not that well developed yet - this machine would however be improved in 1949 and the MD's furter stated that they wanted me to reach age 5 before they operated - knowning that I would not reach the age of 10 without the operation. Today the scar is about 4 to 6" long with all the modern medical advances - back then in 1952 - my incision was from behind my left shoulder all the way down to almost my waist in line with my naval(belly button) maybe 14".
My open heart surgery was performed at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles California.
I remember being wheeled into the operating room and seeing all the huge oxygen tanks. The next I remember was waking up at nite and having the urge to sit up - grabbing the bed/crib rails I would pull myself up and sit up for about 30 seconds and lower myself back down - I would repeat this every nite till I went home.
My condition did not really hit me till I returned to school and was on the playground with my friends and they started to run and so did I - I only got 2 maybe 3 steps and had to stop and catch my breath - I looked at my friends running and realized that I couldn't do that - it was at this point that I determended to do that which would build me up and produce endurance and strength.
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