After 16 years of many doctor’s appointments and tests with waiting and wondering if Alex would need to undergo surgery, the time had come. During the course of the year, Alex started to develop high blood pressure and some thickening of his heart wall. It became apparent that we could no longer hold off on a surgery to repair a coarctation of his aorta.
On June 4th of 2010, Alex underwent heart surgery to take out the narrow part of his aorta and have it replaced with a tube graft. He surgery took more than 8 hours including a cardiopulmonary bypass. His surgery was successful and he was amazingly strong and resilient.
While the surgery was a success, Alex still has systemic hypertension, a ventricular septal defect and bicuspid valve that need continued care. Due to his hypertension and increased risk for re-coarctation and aneurysmal degeneration,Alex was restricted in the level of tennis he could participate in. Even though this was a blow for Alex as he had always hoped for a career in playing tennis; he was able to find a way to stay with the sport he loves by becoming a professional tennis coach.
Alex will need additional surgical repair later in life but for now, he is happy and healthy pursuing an active career as a tennis coach.
Big Hearts to Little Hearts is largely to thank for such a successful experience. It is organizations like this that help foster research and education in medicine and enable doctors to give the best possible, most advanced medical care to people who need it.
Alex will always need medical care, but for now he will keep living a happy, healthy life continuing to strive to accomplish all of his goals while research for congenital heart disease continues. Please
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