Living with Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries
Carol Raimondi was born in 1975 with levo-transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary stenosis, atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect (or VSD) and dextrocardia. Her first surgery at age 5, repaired her VSD and widened her pulmonary artery. Soon after that, she required a pacemaker. She has had 3 more open-heart surgeries – at ages 12, 21 and 31, and numerous pacemaker surgeries.
Carol became a nurse, which had always been her calling, in 1998. She worked as an inpatient and outpatient cardiac nurse. She became pregnant and had a daughter in 1999. Unfortunately, due to physical decline, she quit working in 2005. Shortly after this, she had her 4th open-heart surgery to replace her tricuspid and pulmonary valve, repair her mitral valve and revise her pulmonary conduit.
Still unable to work, Carol stays active in the CHD community, serving as an adult liaison for Mended Little Hearts of Chicago. Most recently, she started a support group for adult CHD patients in Chicago.
David Franco is 48 years old born with a ventricular septal defect and congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries.
Six weeks after birth. David’s pediatrician heard a strange sound in his chest and he was referred to Montefiore hospital in the Bronx. A heart catherization showed his complex heart anomaly.
David’s parents were given very few options and David was sent to the University of Alabama, Birmingham to have his VSD closed by Dr. John Kirklin. He received a pacemaker during the operation.
David had a second OHS at 27 to replace his pulmonary valve and add a pulmonary conduit allowing more oxygenated blood to go through his body. The surgery was successful but David suffered a stroke during the procedure. He also received an implanted cardioverter defibrillator — or an ICD.
David is a husband, a father and a stay-at-home dad. He exercises daily and participates in 5K races. He has a strong passion for music and plays guitar.