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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

I am a 26-year-old congenital heart defect survivor born with tricuspid atresia, and a hypoplastic right ventricle. I basically have half a functioning heart and am currently 23 years post-Fontan. I was also born with congenital scoliosis and an eye muscle disease. I have been through two open-heart surgeries, three eye muscle surgeries, and the list goes on. From a young age I had anxiety about many things. I was called a "worry wart." As I got into my teenage and adult years, my anxiety got to the point of anxiety attacks. I feel that having a chronic illness played a big role in my anxiety and that it influenced my desire to earn a degree in psychology. I am in the process of becoming a c
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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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