Brads Story continued

28/03/2011. Brad was keen to learn to scuba dive. He is always hard to buy for, so a set of scuba lessons sounded like a great idea. Luckily the scuba coaches would not let him do any lessons without a clearance from his Dr’s.  Because Brad has had surgery through the chest wall, scaring will be left in his lung lining (the pleura). This means that there is more potential risk for a lung over-pressure accident as the result of changes in pressures inside the lungs with ascending after a dive. This is because of his first surgery which was through his back (thoracotomy), the second surgery through his sternum (sternotomy) is not such a high risk. Interesting,  Brad won’t be getting Scuba lessons…..ever!

31/08/11 We are VERY lucky to have Brads case followed by Dr Tim Hornung, a Paediatric & adult congenital cardiologist from Auckland who comes to Brads follow ups in Tauranga. After the usual tests today, nothing was too far off track to be of any concern.

28/11/13. Clinic appointment. Even at the age of twenty one, Brad has never lost his severe ticklishness and it has always been hard to get a pulse tested in his groin. Today was no different but the good news is the systolic murmur was described as “trivial”. I like “trivial”…..long may that last.

After the numerous scans and MRI’s Brad has had over 20 years showing the aortic valve as bicuspid, today a clear view showed it is in fact Tricuspid. This means that the valve has the NORMAL (love that word) amount of little flaps stopping the blood going backwards and there is no leak in the aortic valve as suspected in the past.  Part of the Dr’s final comment states “There is no real concern at all about his ascending aorta or aortic valve as these are of normal (There’s that word again) calibre and the valve is three-leaflet”. It goes on to say Brad will have a follow up MRI in 5 years and will need to be monitored to check for scar tissue narrowing. *sigh*.

23/12/15: Clinic appointment. Dr’s letter states the following. “no evidence of re-coarctation with maximum velocity across the repair site”….YAYYYY.  and “Brad is stable and I don’t anticipate any changes in his coarctation repair for the foreseeable future”. That’s the news I like to hear.


It’s currently October 2018 and we are waiting for the promised 2018 MRI. It’s been three years since any tests at all so I’m ready for Brads check-up. I guess I will always have a small amount of worry in the back of my mind. 2018… this space.

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