My name is Justin. I’m 12 now and I’ve got one funky heart! My mom and sister say I am their Heart Hero and everything I have to go through makes me stronger and will change the outcome of other kids like me. I love my doctors at CCHMC. They have saved my life so many times! It’s almost my favorite place in the world to go — because I am getting help and helping others at the same time.
My diagnosis includes Tricuspid Atresia, D-Transposition of the Great Arteries, VSD, ASD, Mitral Regurgitation, NeoAortic insufficiency, Fontan associated liver disease (Cirrhosis), ADD and, Muscular incoordination. I know this sounds like a lot, but I am rocking my half a heart! All of these diagnoses are related to my complex congenital heart defect. I have had three open-heart surgeries, multiple heart caths, an appendectomy, and a few other surgeries! It has been difficult living with this many medical issues. I spend a lot of time at the hospital and I have to miss school and other fun things because of my heart, but that’s ok because I was born special to help other kids just like me!
My Heart doesn’t define who I am. I love to race, go fishing, ride my quad, camp with my family, and play with my friends, especially Ryder because he doesn’t treat me different. There are many unknowns about my heart defect and cirrhosis, and that makes it a little scary.
“I would like to find a cure for heart defects so other kids don’t have to feel sad their entire lives, and go through all the surgeries I have had to. If I could give my half a heart to save someone, I would because I don’t want them to hurt anymore.”
I hope my story touches your heart, and you do your part to save a heart. Please make a difference!