Bryan Knepper was born with a heart
defect called tetralogy of Fallot and
developed an aortic aneurysm as an adult.
The aortic experts at the Johns Hopkins
Heart and Vascular Institute removed the
aneurysm and replaced his aortic and
I was born with the heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot, which was surgically corrected when I was 3. Then a few years ago, like about 15 percent of people born with this condition, I developed an aortic aneurysm.
My doctor recommended the standard care, regular monitoring of the weakened blood vessel, and I was happy to go along with that until my father died suddenly of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Suddenly, I felt like I had ticking time bomb.
I consulted some of the top heart specialists in the country, but it was the aortic experts at Johns Hopkins who really understood the gravity of my situation and explained that I had a 20 percent chance of dying in five years if I did nothing versus a 1 percent mortality risk from surgery. They removed my aneurysm and replaced my aortic and pulmonary valves.
Now I can be here to raise my child.