For a baby born with the fairly common, but quite serious, congenital heart disease called tetralogy of Fallot, parents usually aim for survival first, and then for good health and the ability to live a full life. Hopes of raising a Olympic-level athlete generally don't make the cut.
But perhaps now, following the gold medal performances of U.S. snowboarder Shaun White, they will. White was born with the condition known as ToF. His success has inspired specialists like pediatric cardiologist Seth Hollander, MD, who was featured in a recent broadcast interview that was highlighted in a Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford blog post.
The interview is well worth a watch.
In the piece, Hollander said White's performance has generated discussion, and optimism, among medical teams and families affected by conditions like ToF: 'With the right treatment, many patients can go on to live ordinary — or, in Shaun White's case, extraordinary — lives."
Image by Mattias Olsson