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What the HHT?

A blog for the HHT community

HHT rocked our world

Since birth my husband Josh has known he has HHT. His mother and her five siblings all inherited it from their father (How wild are those odds!). When his mom saw a telangiectasia on his foot, she knew he had inherited it too. At this point HHT, the family believed HHT was just a nose bleeding disease. They had never had any preventative scans done.

Fast forward almost 40 years. Halloween weekend of 2021 our 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension after finding out she was in severe heart failure. After a week of testing and a genetic confirmation, we found out her Pulmonary Hypertension was caused by her HHT (ACVRL1). HHT caused a malformation of the arteries that deliver blood from her heart to her lungs.  Only 1% of people with ACVRL1 have PAH. Again, what crazy odds!

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Access to expert care at CHOP saved Jahier’s life

January 21, 2023 started off like a normal day for 13-year-old Jahier and his mom, Amber. The two had just gone out to eat and did a little shopping afterwards. When they arrived home, Jahier helped carry a few bags inside when suddenly he started to cry. “It wasn’t a normal cry,” Amber recalled. “He started saying he couldn’t feel his legs and said his head was hurting.”

Amber didn’t wait. She rushed him to the local emergency room, which was just a 5-minute drive down the road. By the time they arrived, Jahier couldn’t walk. The team of doctors called for a stroke alert and conducted a brain CT. The first scan looked normal, but Jahier’s condition continued to worsen. A second scan, this time with contrast, revealed a ruptured brain AVM — and the bleed appeared to be spreading.

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Creating hope on Giving Tuesday for our littlest of patients

As a little boy, Liam seemed to feel sick very frequently – far more than his two older brothers.  He’d have a harder time recovering from illness, being sluggish, tired and missing many days from school. Mary, Liam’s mother’s concern started to grow as the pediatrician visits got more and more frequent. For years, she was told the same things – it’s probably allergies, or just a viral infection. But those answers weren’t good enough for Mary. She took him to gastroenterologists, immunologists, requested blood work and more, searching for answers. It would take nearly a decade to finally get an answer, when Liam was 14.

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A 1 in 5,000 Chance That Doesn’t Exactly Make You Feel Like a Winner

When you think of the lottery and hear the odds are 1 in 5000… and then your number is chosen? Instantly you feel like you are sitting on top of the world.  But what happens when the 1 in 5000 in your world becomes 4 out of 5 of your children being diagnosed with HHT? Upon the mention of that news, you don’t exactly feel like a winner. And although with most diseases they say early detection is best, this breaking news didn’t seem to put us at ease as we prepared for preventative measures and a boat load of testing.

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Early Scans Saved Our Son

I was shaken awake — my wife’s hand on my back. It was still pitch black in our Cincinnati hotel room. Blurry-eyed, I glanced at the nightstand. 4:30 a.m., the glowing screen read. “Everything ok?” I asked, still half asleep. “He has a high-risk brain AVM,” she said. “They posted the results in MyChart.” The words…

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