New Class of Meds for Heart Failure — We Were Part of the Trials

My wife was part of the medical experiments, and it was a success!

Ira Robinson


Photo by Branimir Balogović on Unsplash

The American Heart Association, the Heart Failure Society of America, and the American College of Cardiology released some new guidelines, on April 1st.

In the new guidelines, a set of drugs is being recommended for patients experiencing heart failure that work differently from those previously approved.

The most interesting part of this for my family is the fact my wife was a part of the trials to get this approval.

A little backstory to catch you up.

My wife’s 32 now, and was born with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) called Tricuspid Atresia.

This defect causes one chamber of the heart (the lower right, in her case) to either not form at all during gestation, or deform.

In order to save her life, the doctors performed a special surgery called a Fontan shunt procedure. In that surgery, a shunt, or small tube, is placed within the heart to allow the flow of blood between the heart and lungs, which would have issues if it were not there.

She had that surgery when she was four, though she had a couple of others before then to help facilitate that being successful.

She’s been chronically hypoxic her whole life, never seeing her oxygen levels getting higher than 88%. She tends to “go blue” on me frequently, especially when exposed to cold or after doing anything strenuous.

Over the years, that original Fontan shunt failed, to the point that, in 2019, she was told she would need to get it fixed or risk needing a heart transplant or death.

Then COVID hit.

The doctors wanted to do a procedure called a Fontan Revision, in which the original shunt would be bypassed or removed, and a new one put in place. The way they did things when she had her original one is no longer used since they have discovered it puts a lot of stress on the liver afterward.

My wife, for instance, has some cirrhosis of the liver, though she’s never had a drink in her life. It’s because of the high-pressure…



Ira Robinson

Published author of over a dozen books and dozens of short stories, Digital painter, and streamer, and blind. Contact me at