See stories and progress from The CENTENNIAL Campaign for
Providing patient care, diagnostic, research and educational facilities for adults with congenital heart disease.
Keyota Cole was born with a bad heart. The 33-year-old Bakersfield, Calif., native suffers from a serious congenital heart disease called Ebstein’s malformation of the tricuspid valve and from abnormal pulmonary veins. She has undergone multiple surgeries over her lifetime, including one to repair a hole in her heart, a valve replacement and the implementation of a pacemaker.
Because of her condition, local doctors felt that she would likely never be able to have more children, even though she had already had one child. But in December 2013, just a few months after seeking care at the Ahmanson/UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center, Cole gave birth to a baby girl, Faith. While Faith underwent a complex four-hour surgery on her heart directly after she was born and will have some physical limitations as she grows older, mother and baby were safe to return home just a few short weeks later.
“My heart may never be perfect,” says Cole, “and her heart is never going to be perfect. But we are alive, and we are here.”
At the Ahmanson/UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center, high-risk expectant mothers just like Cole receive the best care possible in pediatric and adult congenital cardiology, maternal-fetal medicine and congenital cardiothoracic surgery. “Our goal is to give our patients the hope, confidence and means to live a normal life — including helping a mother have her baby,” says Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn, co-director of the Ahmanson/UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center. “Patients born with complex congenital heart disease 60 years ago would likely not have survived into adulthood. Given our medical and surgical advances, many patients are now living long, fulfilled lives.”
In addition to its emphasis on the highest quality of patient care, gifts to the center support a major training and research facility focused on preparing the next generation of heart disease health-care providers and advancing the understanding of the long-term issues and risks confronting adults with congenital heart disease.
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