Long term health conditions

Jamie - Interview 12

Male
Age at interview: 15

Brief outline: Jamie has a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He was diagnosed when he was six days old and underwent pioneering and life saving surgery. He gets breathless very easily and is not allowed to play any contact sports. Jamie absolutely loves football so at home he plays it in the garden with his sister and a neighbour.

Background: Jamie lives with his parents and his two sisters. He is not allowed to play any contact sport but he does swimming, cycling and he plays golf once a week. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

Audio & video

Jamie was six days old when he underwent pioneering life saving surgery. The medical condition that Jamie lives with is called 'hypoplastic left heart syndrome'. He was born with a normal right side of heart but the left side was underdeveloped. Surgery converted his heart into a single chamber (ventricle) system. This is only a temporary fix and he will need a heart transplant in the future. He gets breathless very easily. 

As part of his treatment Jamie takes warfarin (which thins his blood) and digoxin (which helps the way his heart beats) twice a day; morning and night. He does, on occasions, need reminding but he manages his medication by himself. 

He sees his cardiologist once a year. He likes his doctor because he asks about his life in general and plans for the future. But sometimes when his consultant talks to him about his condition Jamie does not always understand the meaning of some terms the doctor uses like 'mild abrasions'. 

Jamie is not allowed to do any contact sports, but he can do swimming, cycling and he plays golf on Sundays. He sees no point in attending PE lessons because he cannot participate in team sports. He absolutely loves football and feels it is unfair not being able to play it at school. In fact the thing that he finds the hardest about living with his heart condition is that he is unable to do sports like football, hockey and netball.

Jamie does not like to talk about his heart problem. He says that he feels embarrassed about it and sometimes it upsets him. At school everyone knows and no one has been unkind to him. When something is bothering him he usually talks to his parents or to his favourite school teacher. 

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