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Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna

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November 19th 2013:Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Survivor’s Guilt in the Congenital Heart Defect Community

It only seems natural that people who have survived extremely stressful situations should have some kind of backlash to endure. How do members of the congenital heart defect community deal with the stress involved with surgeries, waiting between surgeries, surviving while others around you don’t make it and, perhaps the most insidious of situations – how to survive seemingly “innocent” environments or questions from friends, loved ones or even strangers that all of a sudden pull you back to a dreaded time and place, perhaps best forgotten? Today’s Episode deals with these questions and more a

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Featured Guests

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Lauren Bednarz

My name is Lauren Bednarz and I am 26 years old. I was born with a complex congenital heart defect called tricuspid atresia, hypoplastic right ventricle or simply put "half a heart." I have had two open-heart surgeries, the last being the Fontan Procedure 24 years ago. I was also born with two other medical issues: the first was an eye muscle disease for which I had patch therapy as a young child. I got my first pair of glasses at 9 months old and have had three eye muscle surgeries so far (at ages 18 months, 7 years old, and 20 years old). I also have congenital scoliosis, which was not formally diagnosed until about 14 years of age. X-rays revealed I have an extra vertebrae in my lower bac
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Yasmin Southwood

I am 28 years old and have a heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot. I was also born with a pinhole in my heart. I have had two open-heart surgeries, one when I was 3 and the other when I was 20. When I found out that I was supposed to have another open-heart surgery, I freaked out. My anxiety was very high, and I was slowly having anxiety attacks that eventually led to a nervous breakdown. After my surgery I was very scared to do what I would normally, like roller blade, ride a bike, or even hang out with friends. I will admit I have Survivor's Guilt. I see others with congenital heart defects passing away or struggling and I ask myself why I was allowed to live. My friend lost her 3-ye
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Bryce Bagwill

I am a 43-year-old father of two. I work at Joyce Meyer Ministries and for a media consulting company I helped start called 1303 Systems. This is a business I started to make up for my wife’s lost income since she stays home with our daughter. Sophia was born full term in January of 2010. Sophia had multiple procedures to attempt to open up her pulmonary valve before it was replaced at 11 months of age. The same problem with her circulatory system also caused problems for her lungs and liver and she had to have a liver transplant at 16 months. In caring for Sophia, my wife and I have had to witness, and even inflict, a lot of pain. This trauma has been very hard on all of us. I have been tr
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