The human heart, no bigger than a fist, is the hardest working muscle in your body. On average, it pumps out two ounces of blood with every heartbeat, and moves about 2,500 gallons of blood each day. But that’s only when a person’s heart is functioning correctly. When a person’s heart is sick, medical complications can be potentially fatal, especially in young children whose smaller sized hearts can complicate treatment.
Children’s Hospital Boston is a leader in pediatric cardiovascular care, and has been since 1938, when Children’s doctor Robert Gross, MD, performed the world’s first successful surgical repair of a congenital heart defect.
This Thursday at 10 p.m., Boston Med will feature Children’s doctors Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD, and Elizabeth Blume, MD, as they work together to save the life of a teenage patient with a life-threatening congenital heart defect. In honor of the episode, Thrive is devoting this week’s coverage to pediatric cardiovascular conditions, their research and treatment here at Children’s. Here are some stories about Children’s heart patients that we’ve helped over the years.
- Cheryl Toole had been a nurse at Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for over a decade when her day-old daughter had to undergo heart surgery. Here, she shares her experience as patient mother instead of care provider.
- Meet Ann Louise an 18-month old charmer who received heart surgery from Children’s doctors before she was even born.
- Sarah, the mother of baby Aiden, discuses what it was like to have child born with Pentalogy of Cantrell, a rare heart condition with a very low survival rate.
- When Casey Bolton learned her unborn baby had a complex congenital heart defect (CHD) called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) she had never even heard of the condition, never mind understand its complicated treatment. Now, inspired by the care she and her baby received at Children’s, the young mom works tirelessly to raise awareness on HLHS and its treatment so other mother’s won’t have to go through the fear and confusion she did.
- Erik Halvorsen, another Children’s employee, remembers how his premature daughter’s life was saved by two heart surgeries performed by cardiac surgeons at the hospital that employees him.
Do you or a family member have a story that you’d like to tell? Please write your experiences in the comments and we’ll do our best to help you share your story with the world.
So many great stories! The medical field can be a tough place to work sometimes, but tales of success like these are so inspiring and moving. Check out what former patients are saying about their Children’s experience on our Facebook page.