Episode 67 — Andie Bonasera

Photo courtesy of Andie Bonasera

This week on SportsParenthood, a guest who is close to our heart. You’ll hear from our eldest daughter, Andie. As you know, nothing prepares you for parenthood. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing.

When Andie was born in 2007, we were completely besotted with her.

When she was six months old, John suggested we take her to see a paediatrician to get a proper check-up. She was a fussy feeder and wasn’t a great sleeper, in fact, she hardly slept at all during the night.

Still, nothing prepared us for what happened next.

She was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect or ASD — a congenital heart defect in which blood flows between the atria (upper chambers) of the heart. She had a BIG hole in her heart, and the only way to fix it was through open heart surgery

A large atrial septal defect like Andie’s causes extra blood to overfill the lungs and overwork the right side of the heart. If not treated, the right side of the heart eventually grows larger and becomes weak. 

On the day of her surgery, the anesthetist said matter-of-factly:

“Andie won’t make old bones if the hole isn’t repaired.”

Thinking back on this experience still makes both of us teary. But extremely thankful the ASD was picked up — the hole closed. We didn’t know what to expect … and what’s transpired is more than we ever imagined. 

In this episode, we speak with Andie about what this has meant for HER, while she doesn’t remember the surgery, she wears the scar on her chest every day. Plus, how she got involved in competitive swimming, and she gives us some honest feedback on the way we sports parent.



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