Bridgewater teen defies the odds

Justin Isaac had open heart surgery as a baby and his parents were told he “would not be around very long.”

He was 4½ months old then, and almost didn’t make it.

Luckily, Isaac is a fighter. Things haven’t been easy, but earlier this month he turned 19.

Isaac, who lives in Bridgewater, has defied the odds his entire life. A triplet, he has Down syndrome and pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the vessels between the heart and lungs.

The disease causes the heart to work too hard to pump oxygenated blood through the body. That’s why he’s often out of breath and experiences fainting and dizziness.

His savior, he said, is Dr. Robyn J. Barst, an early leader in pulmonary hypertension treatment for both children and adults.

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