Ingrid Renteral doesn’t remember the most dramatic moments of her life.
She was less than a week old when she had her first heart surgery to correct a congenital defect. She had a second surgery before her first birthday.
“My parents, they don’t speak English, so it was a scary process for them and I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be in their shoes,” Renteral said.
Most of Renteral’s memories involve regular visits to her cardiologist Dr. Shelley Miyamoto at Children's Hospital Colorado. Dr. Miyamoto explained Ingrid’s unique heart condition.
“She was born with her heart chambers. I think flip-flopped is a reasonable way of thinking about it, where the left ventricle which normally pumps blood to the body, in Ingrid, pumps blood to her lungs,” Miyamoto said.
The condition was mostly corrected through surgery and managed with medication. Ingrid has been able to live a normal, active life. But her experience has stayed with her, and Ingrid will go to college in the fall to pursue a career in medicine.
“Even when she was a small child she used to talk about wanting to be a cardiologist,” Dr. Miyamoto said.
Ingrid gradated third in her class from Jefferson High School in Edgewater. She got a full ride scholarship to Colorado State University, and she has her sights set on working at Children’s Hospital someday.
“I feel like most kids need someone they can relate to and I would be pretty good at that one,” she said.