Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center treats hundreds of adults, too

Adult heart program has 1,200 patients

CINCINNATI -- Roz Swiney never quite felt right. She couldn't take part in physical activity, like gym at school. She'd lose her breath and get worn out faster than the other kids.

Swiney learned she was born with a heart defect and had just one ventricle. Surgery helped, and Swiney felt fine -- until she didn't again.

When she went into heart failure, she was referred to Dr. Gruschen Veldtman at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Swiney is 56 years old.

"Really, what we're learning now is that most individuals, even if they've had surgery during childhood, are not truly repaired or cured from the operation," Veldtman said.

It's estimated 1.4 million American adults have some kind of congenital heart disease. All of them should see someone who specializes in children's hearts "and be assessed for the operation they had and assess if there's been any progression of the congenital heart disease," Veldtman said.

Children's Hospital has an adult heart program, seeing about 1,200 patients. Some patients with childhood cancers require care into adulthood, too.

And children with certain pediatric diseases are living longer, required continued or partnered care.

Swiney said she's glad she's at Children's, even if she gets some strange looks when she tells people where she's treated.

"I'm grateful for this doc," Swiney said. "He's given me all that -- he's given me a normal life."

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