2015 Family Advocacy Day Hero -- Deyven

R_2mhBFPhPvr4rUOh_Ferreras.Deyven_Photo.jpgDeyven is a resilient and mentally tough 19-year old who loves to both play and watch sports, play video games, and spend time with friends. He began to experience symptoms of heart failure near the end of his senior year of high school and was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that weakens and enlarges the heart. As a result, the heart cannot pump blood efficiently to the body. It is believed that Deyven inherited his severe heart condition, but didn’t show any earlier symptoms because his body compensated for the heart for as long as it could.

Since his condition was so severe, Deyven underwent open-heart surgery to implant a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). The LVAD allows him to live a relatively normal life while awaiting a heart transplant. Despite these obstacles, Deyven has not been dissuaded from accomplishing his goals. In the fall of 2014, he became the first person in the country to live on a college campus with an LVAD. Even though he has many medical responsibilities in addition to his academic responsibilities, he has maintained a very strong grade point average.

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