Brewing a great doctor-patient relationship

20150422_BrookeStarbucks-14“I love working with Brooke and her mom. They are a great pair, and Brooke has grown into a wonderful, independent young woman who can advocate for herself. She went from being a sweet kid who couldn’t walk five steps without pain to this vibrant college student who treks over here from Northeastern University, bringing me a latte, ready to conquer the world,” says Dr. Kate Ackerman, medical director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Female Athlete Program.

Brooke Lombardi, her mother Shari and Ackerman have a pretty special relationship. Brooke, who grew up in Miami, started seeing Ackerman in 2010 when she was 15. Today, Ackerman helps Brooke, a college student who continues to have minor medical issues, navigate the health care system, helping to provide a safety net for a young adult far from home.

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Minimally invasive surgery helps Rhode Island boy get back to being a kid

jonathan beach 2014[1]For Jonathan Reed, summer fun goes way beyond wave riding along New England beaches. During a recent weeklong family vacation to Universal Studios in Florida, the Rhode Island fourth-grader visited wave pools at a water park, rode gravity-defying roller coasters and sprinted from one fun-filled attraction to the next.

This dream vacation may not have been as magical if Jonathan had to continually battle ongoing stomach pain.

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5 things to know about car safety at all ages

Lois Lee, MD, MPH
Lois Lee, MD, MPH

Every few months a news story serves as a tragic reminder. Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for school-age children to young adults, says Dr. Lois Lee, attending physician, emergency department, at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Lee, who recently published a study about motor vehicle crash fatalities, is all too familiar with what can happen when parents and family members relax car safety practices. She offers pointers for parents to keep kids safe at all ages.

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Congenital heart disease is no match for this fighter

It’s a Saturday afternoon at Fist Fitness, a boxing gym in Westford, Mass. co-owned by Joe Bellone and Sean Eklund, nephew of the famous “Irish Micky Ward.”

A patron enters, slightly tired from a morning 5K run, but ready for another solid workout. It’s been a few months since she’s trained at the gym, but she remembers all of the motions: left, right, 1-2-3, uppercut–she’s in the zone. Her trainer, Eklund, kneels down to get to her eye level. Twelve-year old Hayden is just under 54” tall.

Hayden Schenck is not your average sixth grader. She has a zest for adventure, a love of math and a mean left hook. Her athletic achievements are all the more inspiring when you learn she was born with acute congenital heart disease and had open-heart surgery when she was just 8 months old.

While Hayden doesn’t remember the surgery, mom Heather can recall the period before and after as if no time at all has passed. Hayden was three months old when her primary care physician suggested that a pediatric cardiologist check her on again, off again heart murmur.

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