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My name is Katie. I was born a preemie at 34 weeks. My mother knew I wasn’t breathing, so when she went to the hospital, they rushed a c-section. My apgar was 1:6 and I failed the FAD and biophysical when I was born. My mom knew I had a heart problem, but no doctor believed her. Around that time, my mother suspected I had a syndrome so they did the FISH test. I was diagnosed with 22q at the age of 3. It wasn’t until I was 3 that I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. The doctors rushed me into surgery because I was close to death. I had heart surgery. It was the right aortic arch and vascular ring surgery.

For the first seven years of my life, I was in and out of hospitals. I had multiple surgeries including a cleft pallet and double ear surgery. I had to see many specialists. I learned later that I had an immunity problem, selective IgM deficiency, hypothyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, and hypocalcemia.
I was lucky enough to be able to graduate high school. I suffer from anxiety and PTSD. I went to college, but during my last year of college I had a breakdown. I am currently working full time as a bookkeeper. I know that I wouldn’t have ended up using my college degree. During my years of college, I met my husband. We got married in 2017. We live on our own with our miniature poodle. I hope that one day I can work with animals, but for now I work with math. I am lucky enough to be able to work full time and thrive on my own as an adult.

Everyone says I am a miracle. I am thankful for all the support including my mother. My mother was president of a 22q foundation for 19 years and without her, I wouldn’t have able to meet so many children just like me! I still have some health issues, but am able to keep up on my health with the help of my family and great doctors. As an adult with 22q, I look forward to helping awareness grow in the community!

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