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A Breath of Hope: Woman awaits surgery for chest-wall deformity

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A Breath of Hope: Woman awaits surgery for chest-wall deformity

Heather Sidwell Doan can’t wait to do what most of us take for granted: Draw a deep breath.

The young mother of two has pectus excavatum, a congenital condition where the breastbone is sunken into the chest, pressing on her heart and lungs.

“It’s like a job to breathe,” Doan, 29, of Cayuga, Ind., said. “I never knew you were supposed to breathe freely. It’s something I never thought about.”

Even more than that, Doan wants to play with her children — Chloe, 6, and Kipson, 2 — without stopping to rest.

“I want my kids to know that I love them,” she said. “I want them to look back and say ‘my mom played with me all the time.’” 

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