Legally Blind Photographer Undergoes Heart Surgery During The Pandemic

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : June 7, 2021

Cardiac surgery is also known as cardiovascular surgery, is a surgery that is performed on the heart or great vessels performed by cardiac surgeons. It is often used to treat complications such as ischemic heart disease, to correct congenital heart disease, or to treat valvular heart disease from various causes, including endocarditis, rheumatic heart disease, and atherosclerosis and sometimes it includes heart transplantation.

Legally Blind Photographer Undergoes Heart Surgery During The Pandemic

There are different types of heart surgeries, some of them are mentioned below, open-heart surgery, modern beating-heart surgery, heart transplant, coronary artery bypass grafting, minimally invasive surgery, and many more. Some of the post-surgical procedures that must be followed are to avoid infection and to minimize scarring incision care is needed. Swelling and loss of appetite are common side effects.

Legally Blind Photographer Undergoes Heart Surgery During The Pandemic

As per the recent reports from the American Heart Association, when Aurthur Castro was born, the doctors could tell immediately that there was something wrong with him. The color of his skin belied trouble with his heart that did not pick up after thousands of ultrasounds during pregnancy. As per the doctor’s statement, his oxygen was very low and he was purple and blue and had to retrieve him using CPR and he was taken away as soon as his mother delivered him.

A small hospital in Flagstaff, Arizona did run several tests, that revealed multiple congenital heart defects that would need monitored and eventually an open-heart surgery. The doctors mentioned that Arthur was born with aortic and mitral valve stenosis with coarctation. In other words, he had narrowed valves, and blood did not flow throughout his body and which made his heart work harder that can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, and a rapid, fluttering heartbeat.

There was also a narrowing of his heart’s major artery that carries blood to the body. As per the reports from his mother, the newborn was home only for few weeks after he showed the symptoms of the cold, he was taken to the doctor. The problem was with his aorta and the blood was not getting enough blood. Then later he was flown to a larger hospital in Phoenix for emergency surgery.

Doctors also feared that Arthur feared that he wouldn’t live long enough to reach the operating room. They also feared he wouldn’t survive the operation. The challenge was his small size. Using an improvised ballooning technique the surgeons were able to perform the surgery by opening the aorta. After a month, Arthur got sick again and this time the surgeons performed a different surgery using a different technique for narrowing his aorta.

When Arthus was young his family moved to the Inland Empire area of Southern California, where his parents and extended family members took care of him. The only limitations were on exercise, sugar, and caffeine, and having to wear a heart monitor after the episodes of irregular heartbeat.

At the age of 12, Arthur complained that he had a headache and doctors ordered a CT scan which showed that he had suffered from a stroke and also mentioned that this might have happened during the surgery which took place when he was baby and it has affected his optic nerve. His ophthalmologist mentioned that since Arthur has been wearing glasses for years, he did not realize the severity of damage to his peripheral vision.

Arthur also mentioned that little signs were there like bumping into things or not even being able to see change on the floor. He would trip over things. Arthur who is now 21, makes the most of what he can see despite his limited vision. He also mentioned that he is legally a blind photographer who runs an Art magazine that was launched two years ago. He still takes photos and does portrait photography and he has tunnel vision which is he can only see things at things he can stare at. Arthur faced the biggest challenge last August where he had an open-heart surgery during the pandemic.

In this surgery, the doctors replaced his old aortic valve with his pulmonary valve, then put a tissue valve in his pulmonary valve’s place. He was hospitalized for five days following the surgery and he shared his experience in his magazine and his cousin created the cover art for the issue showing bare-chested Arthur and his scar.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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