Friday, April 19, 2013
Baby Hearts Press' First Guest Blogger -- Katie Cataldo!
I first have to say how excited I am to be a guest blogger this month for Baby Hearts Press!
• Katie is also a blogger for Heart Waves. You can read more by Katie here: http://www.heartwaves.org/congenital-heart-defect-information/?Author=Katie%20Cataldo
Well, let me introduce myself. I am Katie Lynn Cataldo and 18 years ago I was born with a congenital heart disease called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. I had my first heart surgery when I was 3 days old, which was the BT shunt. I had my Open Heart Surgery when I was 4 years old, a Glenn. My last heart procedure was 8 years ago. I have been so blessed to be a healthy HRHS patient.
I went 15 years not knowing any other CHD patients. I did go through a moment in my life were I felt different and like no one knew how I felt as a kid. I was always so unique because no one else had a big scar on their chest. I would constantly get asked what happened to me and I have to say some of their conclusions were pretty funny. Finally, at the age of 15, I decided to learn more about my heart condition. In finding out all about my heart, I began to come in contact with other families and patients with congenital heart disease. It’s crazy how a little social media network like Twitter can get you connected to many other CHD patients. I went from knowing only myself born with a heart defect, to finding out 1 out of 100 babies are born with a heart defect, and it’s the number one birth defect in America.
Now I am excited to be doing so much in the CHD community and working with Anna Jaworski for Baby Hearts Press. Three years ago if you would have told me I would be talking to CHD families all over the world and helping organizations with awareness, I would have laughed and said that was not the kind of thing I could do. But, here I am and looking forward to do more.