The Georges in Peru

You can't get there from here

26 Jun 2020

As you my know, Mary Beth hasn't been feeling well for a little over a month.  It all started with a migraine, and then daily headaches.  We got an MRI of her head.  Normal.  EKGs.  Some benign abnormalities.  A 24-hour heart monitor (Holter).  Some runs of increased heart rate, nothing definitive.  Checked her vision.  Close to perfect (and she still married me! Love IS blind).  Orthostatic blood pressures were very abnormal however.  Some rib chest pain on Monday gave me a clue to what turned out to be the diagnosis. 

Mary Beth was born with a pectus excavatum abnormality, which is when the sternum goes inward and can put pressure on the heart, affecting its ability to pump blood.  Growing up, while playing with classmates, she noticed that she was very short of breath after running short distances.  She was diagnosed with asthma and given inhalers that didn't really help.  Monday night we got a CT scan which confirmed what we suspected:  Her heart is getting squished.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find anyone in Peru who does this operation on adults.  It is usually done earlier in life.  There are places in the USA and Canada that do the surgery, but with the borders closed to international travel how do we get there?  We have evacuation insurance with Aetna and they are currently working on getting us to North America, though we don't know if it will be tomorrow or in a week or even where we might be going!  In the meantime, Mary Beth is very weak and can't stand up for more than about 30 seconds at a time.  If she is lying down, she feels okay. 

Her heart is squished like a jelly bean in this CT scan.  

Here is Allen's CT of the Thorax.  The heart isn't being compressed.

Pray that we can get her to North America soon and that the surgery is successful.