Still from HBO’s Something the Lord Made
Saturday (November 29) is the 64th anniversary of the Blalock-Taussig Shunt. It’s our birthday, and I think we should celebrate.
All of you are not invited over to my house – I don’t think I have a big enough cake – so you’re going to have to party by yourselves. “But wait a moment,” you may say, “my operation wasn’t a Blalock-Taussig. It was a Waterston Shunt, or a Bidirectional Glenn, or the Norwood.”
Because the Blalock-Taussig operation was the first surgery designed to relieve the effects of a Congenital Heart Defect. Without Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig, there is no heart surgery. And without heart surgery… we aren’t here. So it doesn’t matter if you’ve never had the Blalock-Taussig Shunt; if you have a Congenital Heart Defect and have survived an operation, this is your event, too.
To celebrate, I’m wearing Red and Blue on Saturday. I was blue (Cyanotic) and now I’m red… or at least, an acceptable shade of pink. Why don’t you do the same? Ask your friends to wear the colors, also.
I’m also wearing my Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) pin. If you are a member of a CHD support group, make sure you put yours on, too. I’ll lose my ACHA lapel pin in a moment, so I usually leave it attached to my suit jacket; but I’m wearing it Saturday. Wear yours. If you have an extra pin, give it to someone you care about, or who cares about you.
Call every Heart Dad and Heart Mom you know, along with fellow Heart Warriors and get them involved. Let them know what you are doing and why – and tell them to pass the word. 1 in 125 people have a heart defect, let the world know how many of us that there really are!
A Congenital Heart Defect is an “unseen disability” – the general public will never know what we put up with. Instead of whining and complaining, we just want to do the best we can and be happy and productive citizens. We usually don’t draw attention to ourselves… but on Saturday, we need to brag a little!