CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) According to the Center for Disease Control, congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect.
Stanley Bean having his heart checked.
Stanley Bean, like many babies, was born with congenital heart disease.
"I was a lot different than all the rest of the kids that I was around. School was a lot different because, they had to do special things for me." Bean said.
Stanley grew up in New York and had his first heart operation when he was nine. As he grew older, Stanley had dreams of working on a cattle ranch out west.
When Stanley was 22 years old he had open heart surgery and felt comfortable enough to move to Wyoming and pursue his dreams.
"I came out here and I got to work on big cattle ranches, which I always wanted to do from the time I was a kid."
In Stanley's late sixties he began having heart problems again. When he met Dr. Joseph Kay, program director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Children's Hospital Colorado, Stanley was having heart failure.
"Stanley, like many of our adults, didn't know that he needed to see a congenital specialist." Dr. Kay said.
Stanley worked with Dr. Kay for months to get himself physically able to receive treatment.
"It took about three months of going to the exercise room and doing all the things that I had to do, to get myself back in shape and physically strong enough to do a heart operation." Bean said.
Children's Hospital Colorado has an Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program that sees residents across Wyoming.
"We feel it's important to have the care in the community. Our group coming up locally into Wyoming. See them closer to home so that everybody doesn't have to drive down to Denver for routine visits." Dr. Kay said.
Children's Hospital Colorado wants people across Wyoming to know that this type of care is available. They encourage adults living with CHD to schedule an appointment.
Stanley continues to ride horses when he can and spends a lot of his team preaching.
"Life is good, God is good. He's looked after me all these years, kept me going. Now I spend my life preaching and teaching and sharing the love of God with whoever I can share it with." Bean said.
The Colorado Adult and Teen Congenital Heart Program was one of the first 11 accredited programs through the American Congenital Heart Association.