Caroline Wigglesworth is a patient of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Heart Center. In the following blog she describes how growing up with a serious heart condition has influenced the young woman she’s grown to be.
“Do you think that I’ll grow up to be old?”
“Will people treat me differently because of my scar?”
It’s not often that a 9 year old asks you questions you can’t answer. But this boy, with his cute grin, Spiderman pajamas and wires running from his arms and chest to the life-sustaining machines at his bedside, was asking me things that I, and even his doctors, couldn’t answer for sure.
Even though I couldn’t answer his questions directly, I could talk with him openly, and in doing so, take away some of the urgency in his questioning. We sat together on the Cardiac Unit of Boston Children’s Hospital and talked about his life and mine. I shared stories of who I was, who I wanted to become and what I like to do. I fielded his questions as best I could, for I had those very same questions when I was his age going through a similar experience as a Boston Children’s patient back in the 1990s. …
Children’s has been a leader in pediatric cardiovascular research and treatment for decades. Here’s a quick look at the innovation and success the hospital’s cardiovascular teams have brought to the field over the years.
1938 Robert Gross, MD, performs the world’s first successful surgical procedure to correct a congenital cardiovascular defect.
1952 Robert Gross, MD, develops the first successful surgical closure of an atrial septal defect, a hole in the wall between the heart’s two upper chambers.
1983 William Norwood, MD, develops the first successful surgical intervention for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a previously fatal defect in which an infant is born without a left ventricle. Since Norwood’s intervention, Children’s has been using the technique to better the lives of many children, like Sam Peerless, the baby with HLHS who was saved by Children’s doctors and featured in a recent episode of Boston Med. …