GHS grad on heart transplant waiting list headed to college
Posted: 08/20/2011 at 5:08 pm
By: By Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
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The 2011 Goshen High School graduate was set to move into a dorm at Valparaiso University Saturday, eight days after his doctor gave him the OK to attend.
Younghans, 19, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which literally means heart muscle disease, at 17 years old. The disease weakens the heart’s pumping function and can cause arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.
He’s been on the waiting list for a heart for 18 months, according to his father, Barry Younghans, but is doing well.
Barrett Younghans said it wasn’t too difficult waiting for the doctor’s approval to head to Valpo.
“I just didn’t really think about it,” he said.
Barry Younghans said, though, that he and Lisa, Barrett’s mother, thought about it plenty. But they handled their summer as though he was always able to go.
“You try to make the normal out of the abnormal,” Barry Younghans said.
He said doctors waited to let him go until they were sure his symptoms weren’t getting any worse. His son won’t be getting as much sleep or likely eating as balanced a diet in college as when he’s living at home with his parents, Barry Younghans noted.
Barrett will be studying secondary education history, which fits in with his family’s focus on academics. Barrett Younghans is the executive director of secondary education and director of transportation for Goshen Community Schools. Lisa Younghans is a math teacher at Goshen Middle School.
While his parents will both be in Goshen, Barrett Younghans will have one of his sisters, Laura Younghans, 20, nearby. She is also a student at Valparaiso.
Barrett Younghans said he’s unsure what he’ll do after college, but is excited for the next year.