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Teen's serious heart damage was detected only after this series of events

January 04, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Tribune Health
(Screen grab from )

An energy drink, an irregular heartbeat, a devastating diagnosis of heart failure. This sequence of events played out last spring for Christina Colding-Criss, who at 14 was completely unaware of a serious heart condition that, left undetected, could have killed her.

Doctors believe a virus caused the congestive heart failure that's unusual in one so young. And the caffeine-powered energy drink caused the irregular heartbeat that eventually prompted Colding-Criss to seek medical attention. Now she's on medications at home in Lee's Summit, Mo., awaiting a heart transplant.

This Fox 4 Kansas City TV report explains what happened:


The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute gives these survival rates for heart transplant recipients: "About 88 percent of patients survive the first year after transplant surgery, and 72 percent survive for 5 years. The 10-year survival rate is close to 50 percent, and 16 percent of heart transplant patients survive 20 years."

But first Colding-Criss needs a donor heart, and that means more waiting.

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