Philadelphia-based nonprofit Round of a Lifetime Foundation believes that life is about memories. That especially holds true for people with life-threating ailments, such as Patrick Brett of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, who suffers from the heart condition Tetralogy of Fallot.
Round of a Lifetime was established in 2010 by friends and family of Philadelphia’s Andrew Maciey, who passed away from Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy at the age of 24. His surviving friends and family fondly recall spending time on the golf course with Andrew and established the Foundation, which grants rounds of golf on world-class courses to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.
“We want to create lasting memories like ours for others who suffer from congenital heart disease,” said Round of a Lifetime President Joe Maciey, Andrew’s cousin. “We’re so pleased to be awarding our first round to Patrick, who started playing golf only after he could no longer play organized sports due to his illness.”
29-year-old Brett was selected from a group of candidates put forth from University of Pennsylvania Hospital. A guidance counselor and baseball and basketball coach at North Penn High School in Lansdale and married with an infant daughter, Brett had his first heart surgery at 9 months old for a Ventricular Septal Defect that was repaired by PDA ligation. He had his first open heart surgery at 18 month old to close other VSDs.
His second open heart surgery was at 27-months-old to completely repair all VSDs as well as his pulmonary and tricuspid valves. At 9-years-old he had his third open heart surgery to repair his pulmonary valve. At 21, Brett had his fourth open heart surgery for pulmonary valve replacement and resection of his right ventricle. In 1999, he had a defibrillator implanted, which has been replaced twice. And, in 2011, he had a new valve placed in the catheterization lab.
“It’s tough to put into words. Being someone who has congenital heart disease, I’ve had my brushes with death,” said Brett. “Being a father now and understanding what my parents went through, it makes it more special to me personally. To have this opportunity because of a man who passed away at my age, it means so much to me.”
Thanks to Round of a Lifetime and its sponsors, Brett, who will celebrate his 30th birthday on November 24, has been granted a foursome of golf next spring at Congressional Country Club in suburban Washington, DC, the site the 2011 U.S. Open and host to U.S. Presidents and other dignitaries since 1921.
The dream golf trip will officially be bestowed upon Brett at the launch event for Round of a Lifetime, which is taking place Saturday, November 7 at Harvest Grill & Wine Bar, 200 South 40th Street, Philadelphia from 7:00 – 10:00PM. Tickets can be purchased at www.roundofalifetime.com.