The Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s (PHA’s) The Right Heart blog brings you a story about a tough little kid named Riley Wiegele who lives with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and has been “PHighting” since the start of her life. Riley was officially diagnosed with PAH in December 2014 but had experienced many different symptoms long before. Doctors realized she had a heart murmur at 15 months old and that her pulmonary valve was thicker than it should be. The doctors encouraged her parents to bring her for follow-up appointments every six months, along with observing her for symptoms such as shortness of breath or gasping for air.

After her official diagnosis, Riley’s life had changed forever. “We had no idea what it was, and we were terrified,” says Kelly Wiegele, Riley’s mother. “Riley has been an amazing PHighter during it all. She doesn’t let it get her down and always has a smile on her face!”

Riley’s story takes us through the emotional journey of getting a PH diagnosis, not only from the patient’s perspective, but the caregiver’s perspective as well. Throughout Riley’s life, she has continued to push forward and enjoy her childhood. Read more about Riley’s path to her diagnosis and how she continues to PHight PAH every day, in The Right Heart blog.