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left ventricle defect

Posted by Petra Weck on April 13, 1999 at 09:59:49
My question might sound not very clear but thats because I don't know exectly the specific medical words in english but I hope you will be able to understand what I want to ask.
My boyfriend is born with this heart defect. His left ventricle is not working. On the beginning his doctors said that his chance for survive is maximum 25 years (now he is 27)but that usually people with this kind of defect die in the first two years of life. A week ago his new test-results came out and they are catastrophically as the doctor sayd. His right ventricle is not strong enough anymore and his last chance is to go next monday to this clinic in Hannover where a specialists-team (from there and California)will put him into an artificial sleep for two days (I don't know exactly) whilest they will give him electrically shocks in hope his left ventricle will start working.They already did this once (last September)and at that time his chance to survive this procedure was 20 to 100. This time they said his chances are 10 to 100 but ist his only little chance otherwise he will die within 4-6 weeks. Are there any examples of people who survived something like this? The problem is that he he had lost his will to live a long time ago. Because his best friend died about 8 months ago and his father has cancer and his chance to survive is also bad. I got to know my boyfriend just some weeks ago and since than he started getting his will to live back and now he really wants to fight because of me. I know when he says this now he really means it but he also says that when he is in this clinic next week there is nothing can do. But I believe that when a person really wants to survive from deep inside his chances are better than when he has already given up. I hope you understood a bit what I was trying to explain and you can tell me something from your expeariences. One last question: He doesn't want me being over there with him just in case he won't survive. But I could imagine that he would feel me if I would be in this clinic. What do you think?

Posted by CCF CARDIO MD-APS on April 14, 1999 at 10:26:16
Dear Petra,
I think that your boyfriend was born with the congenital defect called transposition (corrected) such that his right ventricle has been doing the work of the left ventricle all these years AND usually it does give out in 25 years or so requiring a transplant as the only treatment, however some do go longer than 25 years (none reported lasting more than 50 years or so from what I know.)
As for this procedure he will have done, I have no idea what it is he is having done.  I wish him luck in the procedure next week and will comment that some of the best heart failure doctors are in California (Stanford University is the birthplace so to speak of cardiac transplant.)  It sounds then that  he is in good hands and is being given the best care the medical profession can offer.
I am truly sorry for yours and his sufferings.
I hope this information is useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for
general purposes only.  Only your physician can provided specific diagnoses and therapies.
Feel free to write back with further questions. Good luck!
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please
call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at
www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the
cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your
cardiac problem.

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