SALT LAKE CITY -- A well-known Utah musician and composer will soon be getting a heart transplant, but in his case, the surgery will be far from routine.
Thirty-five-year-old Paul Cardall will face a risky procedure in a place you wouldn't expect to see an adult: Primary Children's Medical Center.
"Paul is one of a growing population of patients that we see who are now adults who have survived heart surgery in childhood. And the current estimates are that there are 7,000 such patients in Utah alone," said Dr. Angela Yetman, with the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center at Primary Children's Medical Center.
Paul was born with a one-pumping-chamber heart. Back then, surgeons made repairs often using techniques for the first time. Now he returns for treatment at the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center. He will get his new heart at Primary Children's.
"The congenital heart surgeons deal with a very different anatomy than the adult heart surgeons and have expertise in Paul's complex anatomy," Yetman said.
Remodeling vessels here and here, modifying his aorta, and yet another vessel to accommodate a normal transplanted heart will be risky.
For Paul and his wife, Lynette, it's a waiting game. Paul is doing very well, but he is on oxygen 24-7 and is taking daily medication for his failing heart.
"You feel helpless and you wish you could do everything within your power, no matter how you feel, to just make things better for those around you," Paul said.
He has become sort of the poster child/adult for hundreds of families who flood his blog site with stories of their own children with heart defects. His compositions like "Living for Eden," his daughter, and another called "Hope" now assume an almost surrealistic image for Paul and all the others.
Paul and Lynette Cardall joined us live on KSL 5 News at 6:30 to talk about his heart condition and upcoming transplant. To view our conversation, click the play button above.
Contact information for Intermountain Healthcare Adult Congenital Heart Disease Centers
- Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center at PCMC: 801.622.5400
- Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center at IMC: 801.507.4000