I’ve had asthma and chronic lung disease since I was very young. I had to use everything — from my head to my toes — to help me breathe. I remember being able to hear myself wheezing, to feel my lungs rattling. I had marks all over my face from my oxygen mask. I thought I would never be clear of mucus and never be able to walk without being out of breath.
I remember it like yesterday. Pregnant with my first child, I went to my 9-week scheduled ultrasound not really knowing what to expect. I heard a little baby’s heartbeat in my belly! I was blown away.
When you go for your 18-week ultrasound, make sure your baby’s heart is checked. A simple scan can change everything. ~ Elizabeth
At the 18-week scan, it appeared that the baby only had one kidney. The doctor seemed to think that everything else was normal, but he told me I had the option to make an appointment at Boston Children’s Hospital for a fetal echocardiogram. My husband had to work that day, so my mother came with me. I truly was not concerned.
Little did I know that my life was about to change forever, and all because of a simple scan that I almost didn’t receive. …
Nearly six months following a heart-lung transplant, Nicole Kouri makes a triumphant return to school, alongside her twin sister Isabella. It was a pact she made with her Dad back in August of 2015, while her friends were lying by the pool, soaking up the final days of summer, and Nicole was lying in a bed at Boston Children’s Hospital.
14-year-old Nicole was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) — otherwise known as a hole in the heart — and pulmonary hypertension, a serious condition associated with VSD that makes it difficult for blood to flow properly through the lungs.
After Kyah was diagnosed with heart failure, doctors said it could take up to a year or longer before she was ready for a heart transplant. But through research and specialized permission from the FDA, Boston Children’s doctors implanted a portable, motorized pump in her heart, allowing her to return to school and live a normal life while she awaits transplant.
UPDATE: Since the filming of this video a donor heart became available for Kyah, and after a successful transplant surgery and recovery period, she’s doing well and has been discharged from Boston Children’s.
Learn more about Boston Children’s Heart Transplant Program.