Stories about: hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Dalton’s legacy: Avery’s heart, Cheryl’s hope

heart-transplant-averyDalton Lawyer is forever 8. He’s a big brother. He’s a leader. And he’s a hero — an organ donor who’s saved four lives and provided hope to many, many more.

Avery Toole is 12. She’s an only child — with three older brothers.

Dalton and Avery’s lives intersected in 2009.

Dalton was riding his bike, while on a family vacation.

Avery, 5, was at Boston Children’s Hospital, her life hanging in the balance. She had been on the transplant list, waiting for a heart for 52 days.

Dalton was struck by a truck.

One week after the accident, Dr. Elizabeth Blume, medical director of the Boston Children’s Heart Transplant Program, phoned Avery’s parents Cheryl and Mike Toole. She had “the perfect heart” for Avery.

“We knew Dalton didn’t need his organs wherever he was going,” says Dalton’s father Jim Lawyer. Jim, an anesthesiologist, and his wife Jeri, an operating room nurse, donated their son’s organs.

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Celebrating milestones and memories

We are honored U.S. News & World Report has named Boston Children’s Hospital the #1 pediatric hospital in the nation. It’s an opportunity for us to step back and celebrate your amazing families and your special moments — your baby steps, birthdays and graduations. You are the reason we do what we do.

You inspire us.

Kidney transplant recipient Ayden SwimmingThree-year-old Ayden went swimming for the first time following his kidney transplant, while his best friend Aubrey, below, also a kidney transplant recipient, celebrated her 3rd birthday. The two still keep in touch, as they travel through the transplant journey together.

Neonatology twins

At birth, twins Sophie and Maddie weighed under two pounds each. This month, these spirited sisters celebrated their 8th birthday together at home.

heart surgery recipients go to prom

Logan and Allie met as babies when they both had heart surgery at Boston Children’s. This spring, they attended the prom together.

A boy with leg length discrepancy graduates

Following a series of limb-lengthening operations throughout his childhood, George recently graduated from high school and is off to St. Andrew University in Scotland to study biochemistry.

Bryan at the Eversource walk following life-threatening brain AVM

Following AVM surgery, Bryan completed the seven-mile Eversource Walk for Boston Children’s. He also fundraised more than $10,000 for the hospital. 


Bridgette West’s family just moved into a new home — their first— after calling Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center home for months while Bridgette battled cancer

Read more of the greatest children’s stories ever told, and share your story.

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Joshua’s journey to heart transplant

Nineteen-year-old Joshua has been a patient at Boston Children’s Hospital his entire life. Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart disease, Josh required five open-heart surgeries along his journey, and on Aug. 4, 2014, he received a heart transplant. Four months later, family members gathered for Thanksgiving dinner, each giving thanks. When it came time for Josh to speak, he said, “I am thankful for my new heart, and I am thankful to give it a very good home.”

Josh’s mom Barbara shares the family’s extraordinary journey.

Learn more about the Boston Children’s Heart Transplant Program.

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Vinny “The Conqueror” battles HLHS

Vinny #1 fan v2

My husband Mike and I will never forget the feeling of excitement we had the morning we were finding out if we were having a boy or a girl. It seemed like we had to wait an eternity, wondering whether we’d hear the words “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl.”

Finally, the time came — and our nurse let us know we were expecting a BOY! After screeching from excitement and smiling from ear to ear, we quickly realized something was wrong.

Our doctor had noticed the left side of our son’s heart was noticeably smaller than the right, a sign that he had a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, or HLHS. With HLHS, the left side of the heart is underdeveloped and unable to properly pump blood.

That day, our world immediately changed. Our minds were racing in every direction, and it seemed like we were literally living in a nightmare. We had plans of shopping for baby clothes and celebrating over a nice lunch, and instead we were meeting with doctors all afternoon and uncontrollably crying. It was this night we named our son “Vincent” (Vinny for short), which means “to conquer.”  We needed a strong name for a boy who needed to overcome so much.

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