Heart Patient Raises Awareness About Genetic Disorder After Near-Death Experience

News

A beating heart, next to it, an aneurysm swollen to twice its normal size and deadly.

“It had grown to more than five centimeters,” heart surgery director Dr. Shams Khwaja said. “Normally, it should be less than two and a half.”

Wednesday, patient Cole Egoian is awake, alert and alive.

The trouble all started last week.

Egoian was working at a farmer’s market, the family business.

“I just had this strange feeling in my chest.”

“He told us, and so my mind was like OK, we got to go,” Egoian’s dad Jimmy said.  

The family is no stranger to fear. They lost another son in a car accident in 2008.

Jimmy, mom Carol and sister Tish rushed Cole to Reedley Hospital and were soon sent to CRMC.

Khwaja discovered Egoian has “Marfan syndrome.” He says those with it tend to be very tall with long fingers, toes, even spinal deformities.

The disorder can also seriously affect the Aorta.

“That’s the type of problem that Cole had,” Kwhaja said. “Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t diagnosed up until this time.”

Khwaja replaced the Aorta and another leaking valve.

One week later, Egoian is talking and can hopefully get back to school and business.

Mostly, he has a thankful heart.

“Thank you, a thousand times over,” he said. 

Now, Egoian is encouraging others to get tested, since Marfan syndrome is a genetic disease.

Doctors agree, saying the key is monitoring patients early on to avoid emergency situations like this one.

Reporting in Fresno, Megan Rupe.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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