Monday, February 5, 2007
Medical Reports: HEALTHCAST: The Heart
You don't hear about it often, but every year 40,000 children are born with a heart defect. In today's Healthcast, Judy Fortin tells us why on-going medical care is necessary throughout their lives.
WSVN -- Mitch Farmer was born with a serious congenital heart defect.
But it wasn't until he was 30 that he realized the extent of his medical problems.
Mitch Farmer: "Growing up as a child I was under the impression they had corrected my problem."
Mitch had surgery shortly after birth and again at 18 months. While on a cruise three years ago, he started to suffer from congestive heart failure.
Mitch Farmer: "You think of heart failure, 'Man, I'm going to die tomorrow.'"
Mitch says his health took a turn for the better after being treated by cardiologist Wendy Book.
He really didn't have any understanding of the long-term complications of his congenital heart defect.
Dr. Book says Mitch is not alone.
She estimates less than half of the 800,000 adults in the U.S. with congenital heart defects get the care they need.
Dr. Wendy Book: "It is quite a shock to some of them that, yes, they do have ongoing problems that need attention that they have to take medication; they have to watch their diet."
While that's not a cure, those are two solutions that have already made a big difference for Mitch.