Emily’s parents and her team of caregivers from the Heart Center at Boston Children’s Hospital have helped Emily understand her heart condition and have given her the confidence and encouragement to realize her full potential — both in the classroom and on the track.
Now a competitive Division 1 athlete and outdoor leader in college, Emily wants everyone to understand, “Just because you have a congenital heart defect, doesn’t mean you can’t be active or do whatever you want to do.”
When people ask me what it was like to run the Boston Marathon, I don’t just think about the race itself. I think about about my entire life journey and all the people who helped get me to Boylston Street. Yes, the actual marathon day is one day in time that people can point to on a calendar, but it’s the long journey with all its ups and downs and the people you meet along the way, that makes it all worth it.
My journey has come full circle, as I went from my mom and I waiting for my dad at the finish line 19 years ago, to them waiting for me as I finished a marathon of my own. …
Research into where in the world Diana would receive the best treatment led her parents to the Heart Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Throughout Diana’s journey to health, Alejandra relied on support from her husband, her sisters and the community she found in Boston. “From the beginning, we felt that everyone — from social workers to physicians to staff at the Hale Family Center for Families — worked together so that my daughter could have a chance to live.”
With Diana now through surgery and thriving, Alejandra shares her family’s experience to offer hope and guidance to other families coping with pediatric heart disease.
At a mere week old, Joe LaRocca was diagnosed with an extraordinarily rare heart defect. Both ventricles were reversed.
Fortunately, with this particular defect, the arteries are reversed too, essentially “correcting” the abnormality. That’s where it gets its name — congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (CCTGA).
In a normal heart, the demanding duty of pumping oxygenated blood into the body is handled by the left ventricle, and the right ventricle pumps blood a short distance into the lungs. But Joe’s heart was far from normal.