Coping with grief

illustration of sunset to symbolize grief
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: FAWN GRACEY/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. BASED ON ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY ELIZABETH DOVICH

The line wraps around the stage in the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center and extends down the aisle. Stepping up to the microphone, a man in a yarmulke says a name, then places a long-stemmed rose in a nearby vase. Behind him, a little blonde girl whispers her sister’s name and walks to the vase. Behind her, a large family clad in matching t-shirts emblazoned with a baby’s smiling face follows suit. When everyone has had a turn and returned to their seats, a medical resident begins reading dozens more names as clinicians and staff from Boston Children’s Hospital cycle past the vases, each adding another rose.

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Having Faith: A novel approach to heart surgery

Faith, who had heart surgery for pulmonary atresia using her own umbilical cord as a shunt, poses in a chair. When Rachel and Rudy Fasano of New Haven, Connecticut learned they were having their first baby after three years of trying, they were overjoyed, as were their families. At Rachel’s 15-week ultrasound to learn their baby’s sex, both grandmothers were also in tow, eager to hear the news. But the visit delivered some unexpected results.

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Surgery for cerebral palsy

Drs. Shore and Stone discuss cerebral palsy surgery
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: FAWN GRACEY/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

When it comes to cerebral palsy (CP) — injury to the developing brain that can affect muscle control, coordination, tone, reflex, posture and balance — parents have a lot of questions about surgical approaches. In fact, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a hot topic among physicians and parents alike. This minimally invasive spinal operation can permanently reduce leg spasticity and encourage independent walking in properly selected children with CP. It may be a complementary option along with other therapies, such as physical therapy, systemic medications, Botox injections and orthopedic procedures.

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Zaire’s superpowered heart: ‘I am Iron Man’

Zaire, who had surgery for scimitar syndrome, poses in Boston Children's rooftop garden.
PHOTOS: SOPHIE FABBRI/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

What do a 4-year-old from Brockton, Massachusetts and Marvel’s superhero Iron Man have in common? A lot more than you might think.

Iron Man faces a heart injury that nearly kills him, but creates a suit of armor that protects his heart and gives him superpowers. Zaire was born with scimitar syndrome, a rare condition in which the heart grows differently than normal. While he wears no armor, Zaire has developed his own superpowers — boundless energy and a super dynamic personality — after undergoing a new procedure to fix his heart at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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