Adult Congenital Heart Defect: Morgan's Story

Soon after she was born, Morgan was diagnosed with Down syndrome and congenital heart disease. At 3 months old, Morgan had surgery to repair a complete atrioventricular canal defect of her heart.

She’s been under the watchful eye of a cardiologist all her life, but thankfully, her yearly check-ups had been mostly uneventful.

University Health Adult Congenital Heart Center

After aging out of the pediatric hospital in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Morgan transferred to the University Health Adult Congenital Heart Center under the care of Dr. Pankaj Madan, the medical director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease program.

Congenital Heart Surgery at University Hospital

In April 2023 during one of those routine appointments, Madan found a leak in Morgan’s mitral valve. After collaborating with the Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia team to help Morgan undergo a transesophageal echocardiogram, he determined Morgan would need heart surgery to repair her mitral and tricuspid valves. Morgan underwent open heart surgery with the Congenital Heart Surgery team at University Hospital.

Recovery from Heart Surgery

Morgan’s heart surgery was risky and complicated, but it was a success. After her surgery at the hospital, she had eight weeks of careful sternum restrictions to aid her in healing, which she breezed through like a champion. “Things moved pretty quickly, for which I am grateful,” said Donna, Morgan’s mom. “Without Dr. Madan’s intervention, Morgan would have likely gone into heart failure.”

Morgan is now back to her sunny and extroverted self, filling her days with activities that include exercising, dancing folklorico and working part-time at a coffee shop in Corpus Christi.

“I don't have the words to tell every person we came in contact with at University Hospital how very grateful we are. The care was amazing. The surgeons, nurses and techs were so kind and caring,” Donna said. “Her heart repair will allow her many years to live and be herself.”

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Care at University Health

Learn more about our adult congenital heart program on our website.

Subscribe icon
Get healthy living and wellness information, recipes and patient stories from University Health.
View other related content by:

Tell us your patient story

Share your inspiring personal story of hope and healing at University Health.
A flat design styled fitness and exercise icon with a long side shadow.
Are you at risk for heart disease?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Our free online risk assessment only takes a few minutes. It will help you better understand your risk of developing heart disease and how you may be able to lower it.

Take the Heart Health Assessment