I Had Open Heart SurgeryHi, my name is Thomas Edison Greear, I was born in Ames, Iowa on October 12, 1994. I was born with a heart birth defect - Severe Aortic Stenosis. When I was born I was blue due to my aortic valve almost being closed off. My heart was the size of a three year old at birth. I was life flighted to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital when at the age of 2 days old I had open heart surgery to cut the Aortic valve open to relieve the pressure. After surgery all kinds of doctors were in and out, neurologist ran test, told my mom and dad that my brain was on the small side and they predicted I was going to be a mentally challenged midget. When I went home I was having difficulties in completing task that a normal baby could do and found out that at the age of 8 months old I had to have open heart surgery again (1995). This time it was a fairly new surgery, one that had only recently been performed on adults - so I was at that time the first infant to have it done on. This is the Ross Procedure. This is where the Surgeons removed the damaged Aortic valve and in its places moved my Pulmonary valve in hopes that it would continue to grow with me. And in the pulmonary valve spot I receive a homograft (donor valve from a 5yr old boy). With the great physician, my best friend Jesus Christ helping guide the hands of the Surgeons performing the work, surgery was a success. At the age of 9, June 2004, I had to have my third open heart surgery, this time I was given a pig valve. Isn't it quite odd to think that here we have people out that trying to say we come from Apes and Monkeys yet surgeons are using pig valves! Something wrong with this picture?! How ironic is it that we look like an ape but the inside of a pig is more human. Now at the age of 18 I am scheduled to have heart surgery yet again. This pig valve has done what it was intended to do yet has worn out. Job well done...time for a new one. This time with a new procedure via catheter...August 22nd I will receive a new Melody Valve. I will be able to sing that great old Christian hymn with meaning: In my heart there rings a Melody, there rings a melody with heaven's harmony...! I believe in miracles, and I believe that I didn't survive to live today by chance. I believe the great Lord almighty Jesus Christ saved me and I will NEVER forget that. Myself and my mother thank him everyday for saving me to be allowed to live a life in this world.
God has a plan for us all and he is still working on mine - like a painter painting a master piece I am not yet finished. I am thankful that he gives the wisdom to these earthly doctors to come up with new procedures as they do today. On Thursday, as during each surgery I have had in the past my best friend, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be by my side and guiding the surgeons hands to complete the delicate task at hand.
I thank you for taking the time to read my experiences and hope that my words may have been an encouragement to someone else out there. May God bless you all! Oh yeah, one more quick note...back up a bit - your remember that comment that the Neurologist made "mentally challenged and a midget" well God had other plans which prove them all wrong...I graduated with a GPA of 3.25 and I am 6'8" tall.!!! Thank you all - Thomas Greear