Thursday, July 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Woman received first pacemaker at age 5

By
From page A3 | December 31, 2012 |

Victoria Bristow_12_24_12

Victoria Bristow was born with a congenital cardiovascular defect. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Victoria Bristow, 20, chooses not to keep track of the number of heart-related surgical procedures she’s had.

“Too many,” she said.

Bristow was born with a congenital cardiovascular defect and had her first surgery when she was two weeks old. At 5, she got her first pacemaker.

Parents Jennifer and Jeff Bristow were expecting a healthy boy, weighing about 8 pounds. Their daughter was born two weeks past her due date and only weighed 4 pounds, 12 ounces.

“When she came out, you could almost see through her,” Jeff Bristow said of his daughter’s translucent-like skin.

Victoria Bristow, who was born in Texas, was flown to a hospital in San Antonio for care.

Shortly after their daughter was born, the Bristows went out and bought an outfit for her to wear on her first birthday. Jennifer Bristow showed it to the neonatal intensive care unit staff.

“You could tell in their eyes they thought she’d never (live) to wear it. She did,” Jennifer Bristow said.

When Victoria was discharged about a month after her birth, Jennifer Bristow was told to feed her daughter every two hours and to make sure she wasn’t too hot or too cold.

“I wasn’t supposed to let her cry. There were a lot of things to be worried about, like taking her out to see other people,” Jennifer Bristow said.

She was not allowed to play contact sports or ride roller coasters.

“We tried to treat her as normal as possible so she wouldn’t feel different,” Jeff Bristow said.

That was hard when Victoria developed a bad case of pneumonia and had to carry an oxygen tank to school. It was bigger than she was at the time.

She could exercise until her body gave her a signal it had had enough, which usually meant she would faint.

“I did Jump Rope for Heart in PE,” Victoria Bristow said.

“The irony of that was not lost on anyone,” her mother said.

Before she was a year old, Jeff Bristow was transferred to Travis Air Force Base and his daughter was connected with a pediatric cardiologist. That was the first time Jeff and Jennifer Bristow felt there was hope.

Victoria Bristow experienced some rebellion while growing up, such as climbing a tree and not wanting to wear the medical alert bracelet her mother gave her.

“It reminded me of what I had,” she said. “Now, I’ve got on my medical bracelet. I wear it every day. And keep my meds (medication) with me all the time.”

She’s had friends with the same heart condition who have died, and others who have gone on to become parents.

Death is a topic she looks at simply.

“People die every day,” she said. “Some people die way before they are supposed to.”

The Bristows contemplated giving their daughter a sibling. The odds were greater they’d have another child with a congenital cardiovascular defect the second time. They decided against it.

“We already had perfection. What do we need another one for?” Jeff Bristow said.

Victoria Bristow has been active in local theater, most recently appearing in Solano Repertory’s Company’s “Steel Magnolias.” She’s now attending Diablo Valley College and is majoring in library technology.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or amaginnis@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rejection makes us each stronger

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: July 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 12 Comments

Am I blaming victims?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

 
Why ‘compassionate conservatism’ is still dead

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Cruz gets border crisis wrong

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History for July 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for July 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9