Local News

Heart Disease Knows No Age Limits

Posted October 31, 2003

— Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of adults, but heart problems affect people of all ages, including infants. New procedures are helping to correct many of those problems.

Two-year-old Connor Kells has always seemed healthy, according to his parents. They were shocked, when at 3 months old, he was diagnosed with a heart defect.

Connor had a condition called coarctation of the aorta. That means Connor's aorta had a pinch in it, limiting blood flow to the lower half of the body and increasing blood pressure above the constricted area.

"You had a baby and everything's fine and they grow up and everything's wonderful and then we had this. It seemed pretty big," dad Chris Kells said.

It was serious enough that Connor needed surgery. When he was 4 months old, surgeons at University of North Carolina Hospitals removed the constricted area from his aorta, correcting the problem.

Looking at Connor today, it is hard to tell he ever had a heart problem. Although he will always need checkups, Connor does not need any medications and is not under any restrictions.

"He's doing everything he wants. He can run and jump and play and just be a regular kid," Chris Kells said.

"We do feel blessed that it was not as serious as it could of been," mom Vicky Kells said.

Sunday is your chance to help raise money for heart disease treatments and research.

The

Triangle Metro American Heart Walk

takes place Sunday. Registration begins at 2 p.m. at the Imperial Center in Research Triangle Park. The walk starts at 3 p.m. For more information call (919) 463-8300.

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