Meeting members of our community:
Dalton Matthews will be a first time attendee at conference!
My name is Dalton Mathews, I'm 22, from a small city in the pacific northwest; Longview, WA. I was first diagnosed with chronic heart failure just a few months after graduating high school in 2013, which came as one of the biggest surprises so far since I am the first and only person in my family with any type of cardiovascular issue. Over the course of the next 2 1/2 years, going through countless amounts of appointments and doctors between the local hospital and OHSU with Dr. Luke Burchill and Dr. Shaun Ageno, they were able to see my aorta wasn't functioning normally, and appeared to be much larger. Through DNA testing and visual inspections, they diagnosed me with LDS in March of 2016, and within a few short months I underwent my first and only open-heart surgery at University of Washington Regional Heart Center. It was a Valve Sparing Aortic Root Replacement surgery performed by Dr. Nahush Mokadom, and I have to say my life has improved tremendously since July of 2016. Every 6-9 months I have my LDS check up with an amazing doctor, Dr. Catherine Otto, each time usually ending with good news and longer periods between each appointment. I have a much broader perspective and strive to educate people about being proactive with your heart. I am excited beyond words for this year's event in Baltimore, and thankful for the great people putting it on and letting me volunteer. This is my first time attending, I'm not exactly sure what to expect but I know what I am hoping to get out of it, and that's connection. Throughout this journey with my health, I have felt as if I was alone because of where I am from, there isn't anyone I can connect with when it comes to LDS. It will be relieving when I finally get to sit in a room with people just like me and be able to strike up a conversation, hear someone else's thoughts and opinions about what we are dealing with on a day to day basis. Thanks for letting me share the beginning of my jo
urney, and I look forward to meeting all of you. (Pictured below Dalton, father: Scott, mother: Kyra and brother: Danner)