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A rennewed heartbeat

Ben’s heart journey began when his mother was five months pregnant, and defects were detected during a prenatal scan. His parents were living in Germany, where they were stationed at a military base. Ben had a third degree atrioventricular block and a mild aortic insufficiency. Ben was born in a German hospital, which outfitted him with a pacemaker.

Ben grew and his family moved to Fayetteville. Nearly fourteen years passed, when one day Ben’s mother received a call from the school nurse. She was told that Ben’s chest hurt and that his heartbeat was irregular. They brought Ben to the local hospital where they did an ultrasound and pacemaker check, and discovered that Ben’s pacemaker would need replacing—nearly five years early!

Ben was airlifted to Duke and his family followed by car. His pacemaker was replaced at Duke Children’s. Ben and his family are particularly thankful to the nurses, who made sure he was comfortable, and to the therapy dog who visited him while he was recovering.

Ben, now 18, has regular outpatient monitoring at the Duke Children’s clinic in Fayetteville. He loves drawing and art, his favorite subject is computer science, and his favorite comic book character is Spiderman. Ben has his driver’s license and was recently accepted to college. And he, and his heart, have a strong and steady future—thanks to Duke Children’s and to supporters like you!