December 2018- Patrick Foster
My name is Patrick Foster, I was born August 5th, 2001 and I’m from Wisconsin. When I was three days old I had open heart surgery because of a disorder called Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF), where there’s a hole between the two Chambers of my heart that direct blood to different parts of my body. Basically, blood that had oxygen in it was mixing with blood that didn’t have oxygen, so the doctors sewed up the hole, along with several other problems that go with ToF. A little while after, we found out I have a bone marrow disorder called Diamond Black Fan Anemia (DBA) where my bone marrow doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. We tried steroids for a little while but then my body started to get used to the steroids, so we stopped them, and I had to start getting blood transfusions. I’ve been getting transfusions ever since.
In 2015 I had my second open heart surgery, they had to replace one of the valves with a donor’s valve and fix the pulmonary arteries because I had grown so much. The doctors estimate that I will probably need another open-heart surgery in my early 30’s. Thanks to my disabilities I was eligible to participate in several programs that helped me get services that I needed to teach me how to advocate for myself and helped me realize what I wanted to do with my future. I must admit this all would not have happened if it wasn’t for God. He kept me alive longer than was predicted, healthier than expected, and having the chance to do what I love with the most amazing people. I hope to become a professional Photographer/Filmmaker I have already started taking photos on my Instagram @pat_bakk. In the near future I plan to make some videos with my church family at Journey Church in Kenosha. I want to give a big thanks to my friends and family for helping and supporting me along the way. Also thank you to BPDD for letting me write this and tell my story.