Raymond Bachman has served on the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors in Wichita, KS. He shares the story of his beautiful granddaughter, Daphne and her fight against heart disease.
At just 10 days old, Daphne underwent open-heart surgery to fix a congenital heart defect known as Transposition of the Great Arteries. The arteries going into her heart were not where they were supposed to be.
At five months old, Daphne endured a second open-heart surgery to repair an artery that had narrowed. While we anticipated Daphne would be in the hospital for two weeks following that surgery, her recovery was remarkable and she was released after only four days. It is frightening to think, just 30 years ago, Daphne may not have survived her condition because this treatment was not available.Daphne’s fight did not end there. Daphne was diagnosed with Pulmonary Vein Stenosis shortly after her second surgery, resulting in several heart catheterizations that enable doctors to balloon a vein between her heart and lung. In January 2012, during another heart catheterization procedure, Daphne suffered a major stroke that affected both sides of her brain.
The first 72 hours after her stroke were critical and agonizing for her family, as we knew there was only a 50/50 chance for her survival. But our little Daphne is both a fighter and a miracle. Thankfully, Daphne did survive and since then has been undergoing intensive physical therapy. She was left with the inability to speak, loss of fine motor skills including the ability to sit up on her own and walk. The level of her long-term recovery, however, is not yet known. Her struggle continues and will for years to come.
Daphne underwent a 3rd open heart surgery. Because of the pulmonary vein stenosis, they had to attach her right lung to her heart and created a new ventricle on the back of her heart. So far this has made a significant improvement to her cardiovascular health.
The American Heart Association’s research is the only reason that Daphne is alive today. That research is also crucial to her successful recovery. This is why we do what we do – for children like Daphne, for your parents and grandparents & for you and your long term cardiovascular health. This is what it’s all about…
Raymond continues to support the efforts of the American Heart Association through Daphne’s fight against heart disease.