Juliette Allen is a happy, vibrant one and a half year old who was diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis with bicuspid valve at the age of 11 months after her pediatrician noticed a heart murmur for the first time during her routine 9 month check up and strongly recommended she visit Duke Cardiology for an echo cardiogram to check for abnormalities.
Aortic stenosis, one of the most common and most serious heart disease problems, is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening that restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta and may also affect the pressure in the left atrium.
Rather than 3 leaflets/ cusps regulating blood flow to Juliette’s aorta, 2 of Juliette’s cusps are fused, therefore causing a thickening of her aorta. Juliette is fortunate that her condition has not needed surgical intervention yet. However, she will require lifelong monitoring and will inevitably require a minimum of one or two open heart procedures during her lifetime. Her condition will not resolve itself and will likely worsen with growth and age.
You would never know there is anything different about Juliette by looking at her. She is energetic, vibrant and very happy. She is an amazing reminder of how important it is to follow doctor’s advice and seek medical advice when an abnormality is detected. Juliette and her parents hope to raise awareness to take heart murmurs seriously and seek the opinion of a cardiologist when one is detected. Hands for Hands is incredibly proud and honored to have Juliette as this year’s Queen of Hearts.