Jason's Heart Story - Congenital Heart Disease

Hear from Jason about his experiences being treated for tricuspid atresia and other heart defects by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and his advice for other kids with congenital heart disease.



Jason Shush: Hello, I'm Jason Shush, and my heart is the story. So on the glorious day, September 4, 1999, I was born. Yep. Came home, three days later, you know, normal baby stuff. Probably cried, a lot. So then a nurse came and they said, "Hey, something's wrong." So they took me to the hospital. And they realized I had congenital heart disease. So they realized I only have one ventricle. You're supposed to have two atriums and two ventricles, but I only had one. So I had 3/4 of a heart. So at CHOP, when I was 10 days old I underwent my first of four major surgeries: A Norwood 1 reconstruction. So six months later I come back, and boom – I have a Hemi-Fontan surgery. It's not much. So then 3 years later I come back and boom – another surgery. It's like a "fund a vent." I don't know. It's some doctor word but – so I had to do that. Though it sounds pretty serious it's not that bad. Lastly, when I was 4 years old I had a chamber pacemaker surgery. The pacemaker it's kind of like a little defibrillator in your body that will electrocute you when my heart stops beating. So then when I was 4 years old, I got sent home after the surgery, doing like normal 4-year-old stuff and the only thing I need to do was just visit. First it was probably like every month. And then when I started kindergarten, every three months. And then eventually, as I grew older and older, every six months. So now I'm just a normal 14-year-old boy, video games, friends, sports, usual 14-year-old stuff. So if you're in this situation, don't worry. The staff is great and the best part is you also get to live your life as a normal boy while still being connected to the hospital, almost like a family. So thank you for listening to my story.

Topics Covered: Tricuspid Atresia, Transposition of the Great Arteries , Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

Related Centers and Programs: Cardiac Center