Teen has preventive surgery for life-threatening thoracic aortic condition

UTHealth leading geneticist, surgeon team up to help her

After a genetic defect took the life of her father at age 35 and her brothers at ages 23 and 18, Arizona teenager Zowie Claudio knew she was living with a time bomb in her chest. She inherited a weakness in the thoracic aorta, which carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The defect could cause her aorta to rupture without warning.

Armed with that knowledge, thanks to the pioneering research of geneticist Dianna M. Milewicz, MD, PhD, the young woman recently traveled to Houston for preventive surgery to repair the weakened artery.

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