Category Archives: Tetralogy of Fallot

The Surgeon With a Filmstar Face Who Became an Overnight Celebrity

He made a big difference in the world. From the tip of Africa, and also had an impact on my life.

Photo of Dr. Chris Barnard

Can someone really make a difference in this world? I don’t mean small stuff, because I believe all of us can. I mean the really big stuff. Helping a person live longer, actually grabbing them from the clutches of death.

Breaking ground so that other people can follow and also save lives. This required courage and determination. Dr. Cristiaan Barnard of South Africa was the first person to do a human heart transplant.

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You are not DONE! Get a hold on HOPE in your HEART!


When the chips are down, no one is reading your stories, your bank account cries for money, claps, and likes are few and far between, you feel down, or you receive horrible news from the doctor, you need some hope!

All of us have those days.

And that statement just helps nobody! You need some hope! If all of us have some of those days how do only some get through it?

Hope is not an empty word. It has some gravity

While I was chatting to a friend, he went straight to the point and asked. “I remember you also have a heart issue?”

I briefly told my story but not in detail, because I knew that there was some “heart questions “ coming on.

Heart stories are very interesting.

Sometimes you must deal with your physical heart. If the doctor says what’s wrong with your heart, you live with it every day, it’s difficult to change.

But what about your spirit and soul. If we say someone has a strong and courageous heart. Are we talking about their spirit and soul? Or may it also be that we are talking about their hearts and the hope that’s in their hearts?

I don’t want to lose you here, talking all fluffy airy-fairy stuff. But just take note of this.

One of the reasons surgeons were hesitant, long ago, to operate on the heart or transplant the heart is because of this heart-soul-spirit connection.

The heart has a “brain” with 40 000 neurons and can sense, feel, learn and remember. Your heart talks to your brain.

Dr. Paul Pearsall and Dr. Deborah Rozman have talked and wrote about this and how the heart communicates with the brain.

But maybe your heart cannot really think, but I believe it can feel.

What is the symbol for love?……

Why is it a heart?

Faith Hope and love are mentioned in the same sentence in the Bible. They are all these types of “fluffy” difficult to explain concepts. Can it be that hope to some extent is situated in your heart?

A few times I, and many other people have hoped in spite of hopelessness.

There was no clear solution, no guarantee, no escape or hope.

But there was HOPE.

Continue reading You are not DONE! Get a hold on HOPE in your HEART!

Questions to ask before pediatric open-heart surgery

Questions to ask before pediatric open-heart surgery

Some of these questions may be: Why do you recommend this treatment? What about aftercare? Recovery time? What to expect when I see my baby after surgery? Support after surgery? Potential risks? Survival rate? Experience of the team? What can go wrong and how often do they? How are we included in the decision-making process? How long is the hospital stay? Do you share your results publicly? And a few other questions.

I have been seeing a cardiologist at least once a year for the past 20+ years. I still have questions.

Sometimes when I walk out of the consulting rooms I think “I should have asked …….” And then I feel so stupid. Although it’s long ago my mother has told me how many questions she had before and after my open-heart surgery. So what are some of the questions to ask before pediatric open-heart surgery?

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How old can you get with Tetralogy of Fallot? TOF heart condition.

Tetralogy of Fallot
Tetralogy of Fallot

With untreated or “uncorrected” patients only 3% survive past the age of 40. But as with all things, there are exceptions to this. If the condition is corrected early the patient has a normal life expectancy. Even with corrective operations later, life expectancy can be normal.

I was wondering what the life expectancy is of a Tetralogy of Fallot baby because I am one. My TOF was corrected with surgery in 1976 in Bloemfontein South Africa. Except for some problems with Atrial Fibrillation I have lived a normal and full life. My name is Janco Vorster and I am a Tetralogy of Fallot survivor. I blog about Tetralogy of Fallot, Atrial Fibrillation, Ectopic heartbeats, PAC, Anxiety, Panic attacks, and #thoughtarrest. What is Tetralogy of Fallot, how serious is it and what are some of the success stories?

Continue reading How old can you get with Tetralogy of Fallot? TOF heart condition.