Four years on, there’s very little to give away what she went through at the time.
She’s just about the shortest in her class. That’s because her inefficient heart took up all of her energy in the first two years of her life, giving all of her classmates a head-start in growing! Since her heart was repaired, however, she’s developing at a steady pace.
There are annual appointments to get her growth and weight / diet, and a thorough check-up at the children’s hospital where she gets an ECG. They were meant to be every six months, but she’s progressing so well that such regular checks are no longer necessary.
I’m not sure that there are many other signs that she had anything happen with her heart. Sometimes, the fact that she rides her bike far slower than her sister may be a sign, but she’s still cycling long after her sister has burned herself out, so maybe not! I’d have to concede that it does seem to take her a day or two longer to recover from colds than her peers.
Academically, she’s doing incredibly well. She has leapt ahead with both her literacy and numeracy skills, and has an appetite to continue learning. At times, she surprises me with the things that she says and knows. She’s definitely a smart cookie.
Her heart will be monitored for her whole life. Having a valve rebuilt will do that to you. It’s a small price to pay when you consider that not having the op would have eventually killed her. (The doctors were really that blunt about it).
We’ll never stop worrying, but we are reassured by how well she’s doing. Well done, youngster!