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TGA, Single Ventricle, Eisenmenger's Syndrome


Angela with her nephew

Angela in a Nashville studio
recording a demo

Angela and I at a picnic

My wife Angela was diagnosed at birth with transposition of the great vessels and a single ventricle with Eisenmenger's syndrome. She also had lung disease as a result of these problems. At that time, doctors told her parents that she would be looking at a life expectancy of five years. Little did they know then that she would beat that prediction by thirty years.

Though I only had the honor of sharing life with her for six years (four years of dating and two years of marriage), I can truthfully say that she was one of the most beautiful, humble and courageous people I've ever known. The way she faced her health problems blew me away. I couldn't believe how tough she was. She knew her body and its symptoms better than most of the health care professionals who came in contact with her. She was always straight-forward about her condition. In the time that I knew her, she was hospitalized at least once a year with some kind of heart/lung complication. During those times, she hated being in the hospital, but she always made the experience pleasant for everyone else with her bubbly personality and great sense of humor. She gave us little time to worry because she usually kept us laughing.

Angela loved children. They would literally gravitate towards her. It didn't matter where we were- restaurants, shopping malls, school functions- she always had children smiling, waving and talking to her. Once, while waiting for a connection in the Detroit airport, I went to the snack shop to get some coffee. I was gone about ten minutes. By the time I had returned she already had a cute, little five -year old girl sitting on her lap telling her stories and singing to her. It was amazing.

She also had the most beautiful singing voice I've ever heard. Before I met her, she tried her luck in Nashville, but the record executives dropped her when they found out she had a heart condition. When she felt like it, she would often sing with live bands or at karaoke bars. Audiences were always blown away to hear this wonderful, powerful voice coming from this petite little woman on stage. She had the voice of an angel.

Angela was hospitalized for the last time on June 19th for an irregular heart rhythm. As the days progressed, she developed lung and kidney problems that lead to multiple cardiac failures. Per her wishes, it was decided not to revive her any longer. On Saturday morning, June 21st, 2003, she passed away while my mother-in-law and I held her hands and whispered that it was OK to go.

Angela had a great deal of love, humor and talent to share with the world in her thirty-five years here. She definitely made it a better place for all to be in. The last thing I said to her while she was conscious was that she "made me a better person." I'm sure a lot of people feel that very same way about her.

I can't help but imagine now that she is in heaven singing to the children with that wonderful, angelic voice.

You're always in our hearts, Angela.

— David, Angela's Husband (Central Illinois)

This article was last updated on October 1, 2003

  • Born:  February 25, 1968
  • Diagnosis:  TGA, Single Ventricle, Eisenmenger's Syndrome


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Disclaimer: Our members' stories represent their own perception of their experiences, and the medical information contained within has not been reviewed for accuracy prior to publication. Stories are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your (child's) physicians with your questions and concerns.
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