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Myles Libert - living proof second opinions make a difference

Myles returns to Riverside Elementary School September 25 Myles returns to Riverside Elementary School September 25

Kristina Tomblin is the mother of 10-year old Myles Libert.  She and Myles have recently gone through an experience no mother ever wants to experience.  Myles turned 10 on September and thanks to his mom and a great team of doctors he was here to celebrate it.  

In June of this year, Myles underwent surgery to repair what is known as partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection and atrial defect.  Let’s go back a few years and recap what led to his surgery this summer.  

When Myles was five years old, he was having problems that seemed to be getting worse.  Myles was taken to a doctor in Tallahassee and the doctor thought there was a hole in his heart.  It was ruled that it was just a silent heart murmur.  His mother said he has had asthma his entire his life.  As time went on, his asthma worsened and he started having chest pains.  His pediatrician asked for a follow-up with the doctor in Tallahassee.  His mother took him back to see the doctor in Tallahassee.  Tomblin said, “The doctor basically told us there was no need for Myles to come back.  He had retested him and he ruled it out as just a silent heart murmur.”  She said, “But as a mother, my heart didn’t feel right about what he had told me so I requested a second opinion.  I took him to a doctor in Pensacola, Florida for a second opinion.”   Tomblin said when they went to Pensacola they saw Dr. Steiner who did all the evaluations and the final word from the tests that he did, showed he had a hole in the heart and an enlarged heart.  Tomblin said he basically told her that her son had to have open heart surgery, “I was told that around June 15, not sure of the exact date.”  

From that point, Dr. Steiner sent all the results of the tests he did on Myles, the x-rays, cardiograms, everything he did to Gainesville.  A team of doctors in Gainesville looked at the tests and then scheduled Myles for an appointment.  The open-heart surgery lasted five hours and was performed by Dr. Bleiweis as the head surgeon.  Kristina says that it was the longest five hours in her life.  She said last Thursday, “Myles is doing good, he is restricted from any type of activity until he returns to Gainesville October 4.  He returned to Riverside Elementary School September 25 to lots of happy teachers, classmates, and well-wishers.  Tomblin said basically this was something he was born with and his heart just kept getting enlarged as he got older, which greatly affected his asthma.  

His mom says containing a 10-year old to no activities has been somewhat of a challenge.  Myles loves basketball, more so playing it than watching it but for now he has to be content with couch activities.  

We spoke with Myles last Thursday and he is a very well-spoken 10-year old boy.  He wasted no time in letting us know he likes his PE teachers, coaches Johnson (Patti) and Harrell (Linda Lee) and that Mrs. Julie Melton was his favorite teacher, “She teaches math and is really good.”  About his activities Myles says as you would expect of any 10-year old, “I miss basketball because I really like to play it.”  

Myles says he hopes to see Chipola basketball play some basketball this year, and is even more hopeful that by the time the Indians start their season, he will be allowed to participate as a player again and not just a fan.  Chipola athletic director and head baseball coach Jeff Johnson and head basketball coach Bret Campbell have tickets waiting for Myles when he is ready to watch the Indians play some basketball.  

Myles’ mom says she will never hesitate to obtain a second opinion and believes without a shadow of a doubt, the choice to obtain one this time saved her only child’s life.

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