Feb. 7, 2012
10:30am - 1:00pm
First Baptist Woodway
13000 Woodway Dr.
Waco, TX 76712
In my family we have a profound history of heart related problems. The problems normally happen to the women in our family, like my great grandmother, both of my grandmothers, my mother, and myself.
My great grandmother, Mary Campbell, had several mild strokes. She was 93 years old when she passed away. My grandmother, Billie Jo Johnson, also had heart problems. She lived several years with CHF. She was 48 years old when she passed away.
My grandmother, Margarette Ladd-Manges, has an irregular heartbeat. She received her pacemaker in 2008. She also has CHF along with A-Fib. She is 91.
My mother, Loyce Rae Johnson, was diagnosed as an adult with a heart murmur. As the years passed she had more trouble with her heart. On 09/08/2008 she had open heart surgery to replace her Aortic Valve. While in surgery they found that she has a Bi-Cuspid Aortic Valve. This was a condition she had from birth but did not know until the day of the surgery. A few days later (09/11/08) she received a pacemaker due to a low heart rate. She has been recently diagnosed with CHF and A-Fib.
For me, my journey started when I was four months old. I had open heart surgery to repair my PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) that did not close as it should have after I was born. During this surgery they found I also have a Bi-Cuspid Aortic Valve. As an adult I have been diagnosed with M.V.P (Mitral Valve Prolapse), right bundle branch block and some stenosis.
However, it isn’t only the women in my family who have been directly affected. Exactly eight years ago, my husband and I were expecting our second child. Our oldest child did not have any medical complications and is still healthy today. During our second pregnancy we found the son I was carrying had a congenital heart defect. Christopher John London was born October 26, 2004 and was diagnosed with H.L.H.S (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome), along with Mitral and Aortic Atresia. We were given two options; surgery with a 50/50 chance of survival or no surgery at all and make him as comfortable as possible and allow him to pass on his own. We chose the first option, praying for the best and preparing for the worst. He had his first surgery when he was 7 days old. A few weeks later he returned to the operating room to have his diaphragm plicated. At this point we just knew we were on the road to a “normal” childhood. After two surgeries, an extremely long hospital stay, and one week at home his journey came to an end. C.J. passed away on December 18, 2004.
We are very thankful for the time we were given with him. We urge everyone to have themselves checked regularly and for moms- to -be to have the extra ultrasound during your pregnancy. The end result could save a life, help in early detection, and/or help you prepare for life’s journey.
My family and I would like to share the blessing of our surviving children: Hayven Nichole London (11), Addison Grace London (4) and one more expected to arrive in late June 2012.
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