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Healthy Heart

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WSVN -- Little Parker is the joy of Katie smiley's life, but at one point doctors told her she might not be able to become a mom.

Katie Smiley: "When I was born they found out a week later that I had a hole in my heart."

Katie was born with a congenital heart defect. A hole in her heart that needed surgery to close. She was fine until her freshman year of college.

Katie Smiley: "I started feeling short of breath, wake up in the night my heart would be racing, so I knew that something else was going on."

She was rushed to the hospital and there was a problem with her heart.

Dr. Richard Perryman: "If you are born with congenital heart disease you continue to have congenital heart disease for the rest of your life."

Dr. Richard perryman at memorial regional hospital says what happened to katie is not all that rare while most babies are fixed at birth most don't bother with follow ups later in life and that can put their health in danger.

Dr. Richard Perryman: "There's more adults with congenital heart disease than there are children, and it's an increasing number."

And like Katie, in most cases symptoms come on fast.

Dr. Richard Perryman: "The first symptom they may get is that they start to get tired, they start to get fatigued."

They may also develop a rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath and even though Katie's heart was fixed with the second surgery. Doctors told her having a baby could be dangerous.

Katie Smiley: "I would need close follow-up during pregnancy and an evaluation even before I got pregnant to make sure my heart could tolerate the stress of pregnancy."

Natural child birth was out because it would stress her heart. Her son Parker was born by c-section and Katie says despite the risk, she'd like to give Parker a brother or sister.

Katie Smiley: "Oh, yes I would do it again so hopefully they will let me have another one."

Diana Diaz: "Dr. Perryman says anyone born with heart conditions should be checked out once a year throughout their lives. Adults with congenital heart disease is becoming so common medical schools are starting to train doctors to deal with it."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Dr. Richard PerrymanChief of Cardiac Surgical Services1150 N. 35th AvenueSuite 440Hollywood, FL 33021Tel: (954) 265-6356www.mhs.net

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