for young people with childhood heart disease.

Mariah's Story

CHD: From a patient to a (future) medical geneticist

Written by Mariah, 12 September 2015  |  Truncus Arteriosus 

It's kinda funny how I was born with a 'broken heart' the day after Valentine's Day, isn't it? My Mum had gone into labour on the 14th of February 1995, but I wasn't born until 6 am on the 15th. I was about a month and a half premature.

Having my birthday the day after Valentine's Day has always made me bitter in all honesty, but I got over that by the time I was 16. Though, the road is still not always easy. I have had struggles with anxiety and depression since I was about 15.

The anxiety's still kicking around in all honesty but I've got more of a handle on it now. I also have asthma that's kind of linked in with my CHD.

I was born  in Melbourne with Truncus Arteriosus. My condition wasn't found pre-natal, however I was quickly stabilised in post-natal care.

I've had three open-heart surgeries since 1995, with the last one in 2004. I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to need surgery in the near future, because I've been having trouble trying to get a new cardiologist since I've moved from Brisbane back to Melbourne.

My experiences in and around the medical systems in Victoria and Queensland have had a huge impact on my desire to go into medical research.

I'm currently studying a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Psychology at Monash University. I am hoping to one day become a researcher in stem cell technology. I'm also very interested in finding the mutations in the genome of patients with CHD.

I love science and I really hope to one day have that passion for science enable me to help people like myself through medical science and technology.

Now that I have such a sure path for myself and my life the bitterness of being born with a 'broken heart', on the day after Valentine's Day, has definitely worn off and I'm definitely not as pessimistic about the future.

I am definitely thankful for the support from my family and friends throughout my life.

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