Monday, November 29, 2010

We'll miss you, Steve!

It is with much sorrow and heartache that I am sharing the news of the death of our CHD friend and advocate, Steve Catoe. He was the author of the very informative and always entertaining Adventures of a Funky Heart blog. I first corresponded with Steve a little over a year ago, right around the time I first came across his Funky Heart blog. We learned that we had something in common; Bilal had his open heart surgery for repair of Tetralogy of Fallot at The University of Alabama in 2006. Steve underwent two of his heart surgeries at the same hospital, first in 1977, and then in 1988, although his surgeon was Dr. Pacifico, who retired a year or so before Bilal had his surgery. He was always gracious, with many encouraging words especially for the parents of young children with congenital heart defects. I would like to share a brief excerpt of an email he wrote to me:

There is LOTS of hope for your son... things are moving so fast in Congenital Cardiac medicine and surgery. The Blalock-Taussig Shunt is recognized as the first Congenital Heart surgery, and it was first done on November 29, 1944. A child born on that day isn't quite to retirement age yet, and look at how much as been done since then!
What better words than these for a mom seeking reassurance and hope for her young child who was born with a broken heart?!

Steve spent a lot of time researching all of his facts before he shared them, often clearing up some misconceptions on the way. For example, I found this post very enlightening, when it comes to educating the general population about congenital heart defects, and this one which clarifies the actual statistics regarding the incidence of congenital heart defects. He also used his blog to spread the word about others in the heart community who were undergoing procedures and needed some encouragement or prayers.

Steve was an active member of the Adult Congenital Heart Association and spoke avidly at events to promote the awareness of Congenital Heart Defects. I wish I'd had the chance to listen to him speak in person. I have heard from may about what a great gentleman he was even when you met him in person, and it is sad that I will never have the opportunity to meet him.

Funky Heart also has a facebook page that is dedicated to all things health related, not only pertaining to congenital heart defects. Each topic is an amazing conversation starter!

Steve, you will be sorely missed, but you remain an inspiration to us all!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. He will be missed by many.

The Smith's said...

Amen. Thanks for the great post, Mina.

Wodzisz Family said...

Today is a sad day indeed. Steve will be greatly missed...especially his amazing blog posts. He always shared his thoughts and opinions and many times made me stop and think was wonderful.

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