Julie Pritchett Morefield was born on October 9, 1980 in Alaska with hypoplastic leftheart syndrome. Julie’s parents took her to Boston to be operated on by Dr. William Norwood and she is the oldest living HLHS patient to have been operated on by him. She received the first kind of “Norwood Procedure” when she was a month old and she had five open-heart surgeries before she was six years old. Julie was not treated like a normal child growing up because her parents had been told she wouldn’t make it and they witnessed other children operated before and after Julie passing away. Julie ended up making some poor choices that she now regrets. She wanted to come on the show today to let people know about the dangers some of those choices can pose as Survivors age. Julie also wants to share her experience with us regarding bullying and depression and how those experiences can lead to making regretful choices, but also, how it’s never too late to turn your life around!
Damion Martin was born on September 25, 1978 with aortic and mitral valve stenosis. He has two mechanical valves and then needed to have a pacemaker implanted due to heart block. On March 18, 2014 Damion had his pacemaker upgraded to a biventricular pacemaker due to pace-induced heart failure. Damion’s mother was a pediatric nurse for her entire career so he was born into a pretty effective and efficient care program; however, when Damion went to college, he took every opportunity to establish a rebellious lifestyle, despite knowing better. Now Damion is cared for by the team at Stanford’s Congenital Cardiology Clinic, as well as their Device Clinic, and a Genetics/Dermatology Clinic. Now Damion is a husband and father to a healthy 2 ½-year-old boy and a baby girl due any day now – who will carry the genetic issue that led to Damion’s CHD, but should be asymptomatic according to the various geneticists he and his wife have consulted.