A Survivor: Diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot at birth, then DiGeorge syndrome

March 1, 2024

Michelle Padilla was born with a congenital heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot, and was later diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome, also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

by Michelle Padilla

I was born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, and almost died as a baby. I have had three open heart surgeries when I was 2, 5, and 13. I also had two sinuses surgeries and two mouth surgeries. When I was 18, I had a grand mal seizure, and was in a coma for about a week, and suffered brain damage because of that. I was diagnosed with an intellectual disability. I was later diagnosed with a syndrome called 22q11. It’s the second most common syndrome after Down’s syndrome.

I earned an AA degree at Los Harbor College, and then transfer to Cal State Dominguez, where I became more active in the community and started my own podcast at KDHR. I became a community leader. I had to move north to Sacramento because my family lives up there. I was able to get a State job through Department Rehab. I have been working a state job for the last year, and still do my podcast.


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