Stories about: Dr. Pedro del Nido

Sonia’s story: Saving hearts a world away

ALL PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE GEAMBASU/CONOVARU FAMILY

When Sonia Conovaru was born in Romania in 2007 with a number of complex congenital heart defects, she was given a 10 percent chance of living 12 months. Her mom, Oana Geambasu, a young acting student, didn’t know anything about health care, but knew she wasn’t willing to accept that outcome. It was the start of a journey that would take them thousands of miles and forever change the course of their lives.

Read Full Story

Against all odds: Colin’s biventricular repair

Colin, who had a biventricular repair, climbs onto the table during his office visit.

Catherine and Julio Pita were already seasoned parents when they learned they were expecting their sixth child. But when an ultrasound at Catherine’s 16-week prenatal visit showed their baby had a hole in his heart, they were surprised and unprepared.

Read Full Story

Samuel’s heart: After four years and four surgeries, it’s the healthiest it’s ever been

Samuel, who had a biventricular repair on his heart, wears his heart hero costume.

When Samuel Guinn was born, his parents, Jennifer and Grant, expected at least one surprise. The couple from Jennings, Louisiana had chosen not to learn their third baby’s gender ahead of delivery. But soon after their beautiful boy’s birth, they got an unexpected surprise — he had a serious heart condition.

“Within an hour, the doctors noticed a heart murmur and transferred him to a larger hospital in Louisiana,” says Jennifer. “Once he was there, they diagnosed him with transposition of the great arteries (TGA) and a ventricular septal defect (VSD), but they couldn’t keep him stable, so they told us they wanted to send him to a bigger hospital in New Orleans.”

Read Full Story

A first birthday made possible by cardiac tumor surgery

Oliver, who had a cardiac tumor, plays in the snow.Today is Oliver Cameron’s first birthday and he and his parents have a lot to celebrate. After a year of uncertainty, they will be enjoying a quiet dinner with family at their home in Wantage, a town in Oxfordshire, England.

“Having him home and healthy is the best present ever,” says his mom, Lydia.

She and her husband, Tim, are looking forward to some quiet time alone with Oliver and their family after spending much of the last year fighting for his life.

Read Full Story