Three-year-old Finn stands in front of the full-length mirror in his parents’ room, with his shirt off. “Mommy, look how cool!” he shouts, placing his finger along the long scar running down the middle of his chest. “That’s where I had my heart surgeries!”
“That’s right, buddy,” Jenna replies, surprised because they’d never talked about his scars. “We always tell him he has a special heart. We don’t ever want him to feel different.”
Finn runs off to play.
It makes Jenna smile and sometimes cry to see her son so happy and full of life. Now 5 years old, Finn has had three open-heart surgeries to treat multiple complex congenital heart defects, and his journey is not over. “We are so thankful to Boston Children’s Hospital for giving our child life,” says Jenna. “Each day is a blessing.” …
“We want him to run and fall like any other kid,” says Adreana Duchesne, describing her approach to raising her 4-year-old son Mason. Adreana and her husband Jeremy know that even though their son has complex congenital heart disease, his lifestyle doesn’t need to be limited in any way.
“Mason is super hyperactive. He’s a maniac, he’s fresh; he loves to sing and dance and put on a show. He has a personality the size of Texas.” He also has a scar the length of a ballpoint pen on his chest — the one visual reminder of his three open heart surgeries.
Adreana found out about Mason’s heart condition at her 20-week prenatal ultrasound near the family’s home in western Mass. “We were told to simply go home and grieve — that there was nothing we could do to save our son’s life. But we wouldn’t accept that.” …
Child athletes who get back on the field right after suffering a concussion are placing themselves at great risk. One of our experts helped word a bill before Massachusetts lawmakers that would make concussion safety a bigger concern for public school sports teams.
The Wall Street Journal featured an article on Children’s Hospital Boston’s Gene Partnership Project (GPP), a new program in which all patients entering Children’s will eventually be able to take part in genetic research—as active partners.
Scott Leibowitz, MD, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s department of psychiatry, blogged about a soon-to-be launched gender and sexuality psychosocial pilot program he has coordinated at Children’s, which will be the first of its kind in the United States.
Because of the severity of Parker’s condition, our doctors recommended an induced birth in Boston so he could be immediately rushed to Children’s Hospital Boston’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU).
Parker’s first 24 hours of life were so unstable that doctors weren’t sure he’d make it. His condition was so severe that even as his parents we weren’t allowed to see him in the cardiac ICU until they could stabilize him with an emergency catheterization.