Author: Ellen Greenlaw

Kayla’s back on her feet after Cardiac Fitness Program

Kayla, who has Marfan syndrome, hangs out at the beach.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MADDY GRAVES PHOTOGRAPHY

Like many teenagers, 17-year-old Kayla Nelson attends high school and has a part-time job — hers is at a local bagel shop. But for Kayla, these “normal” teenage responsibilities were nearly impossible just a couple of years ago.

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Helping heart patients overcome developmental issues

Focus on Boston Children's Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PATRICK BIBBINS/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

If you have a child with congenital heart disease (CHD), you’re likely well-versed in the medical issues your child may face. But many parents don’t realize their children born with CHD may also be at risk for developmental problems.

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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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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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