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Pulmonary Atresia

Hi, My mom noticed my blue tinge shortly after birth. The doctors did not know exactly what kind of heart problem I had until I had open heart surgery at age 4. They found I was missing my pulmonary artery. At that time no surgery could be done and most children died before 5. I grew up and did pretty much what I wanted (rode horses, skated, raised sheep for 4-H, etc.) I was a dental assistant for 35 years, raised a step-daughter and had a normal life.

My biggest trial in life is that I also developed scoliosis when a teen. That has gotten worse over the years and has affected my lung capacity as my heart has finally begun to tire. I am on SSI now as I had to quit work because of my. I really miss work and being able to do what I used to do.

I am on oxygen to help me breathe easier but can do without if needed. It gives me a little more energy. I got some carbon monoxide poisoning and a bad allergic reaction to a rabbit which started my downward cycle?until then I was still working. This happened early last year. I have been slowly improving but do not know how much better I'll get.

I am happy to be able to do what I do. Life is still GOOD!

? Pam (California)

This article was last updated on November 4, 2001

  • Born:  August 19, 1946
  • Diagnosis:  Missing pulmonary artery. Have extra little bronchial arteries that help with oxygen delivery but these are not working as well as they did.
  • Treatment:  I take 1 tab of hydrochlorot2 5mg/day and 1 tab of spironolactone 25mg/day plus oxygen therapy.


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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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