As a child growing up in Guatemala, Juan Pablo was told by his parents that he was born with a little hole in his heart that was patched up. “It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I figured out that what I had was not that simple.“
Juan Pablo was born in 1995 with Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF), a condition involving four different congenital heart defects. With no pediatric cardiac surgeons in Guatemala at the time, Juan Pablo’s parents took their newborn son to Switzerland for treatment, which included open heart surgery to remove his pulmonary valve. He went on to lead a normal, healthy childhood.
As a parent, when you look at your newborn, it’s hard not to get swept up by all the possibilities that lie ahead. Your child has the world ahead of him—you can’t help but wonder what life’s adventures have in store. That feeling of unlimited potential is why Dr. Seuss’s, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” is such a big hit in our family, both for my four boys and myself. But when I read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” to my youngest son, Hunter, the words took on a whole new meaning. As I read him the story and shared the bright, beautiful artwork with him, I couldn’t help but feel a knot inside when I came to the part where things don’t go as planned.
As Seuss so wisely writes, “There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much, you won’t want to go on.” As a mother you do everything in your power to protect or guide your child away from the road Seuss describes, but in some cases you just can’t. That was very true for Hunter. …
Boston Magazine recently released its 2011 Top Doc list, made up of the best 650 physicians in the Hub. Seeing as Boston is home to some of the greatest medical minds on the planet, the list reads like a prestigious who’s-who roster of talent; a medical dream team spanning every aspect of treatment, from surgery to research and innovation.
Broken into 57 different specialties, doctors included on the list are voted for by fellow medical professionals, meaning that the Top Docs have not only gained the respect of the public and media, but of their peers as well.
Children’s Hospital Boston is proud to announce that over 10 percent of the entire list was made up of our staff, many of whom will be familiar to Thriving readers.
My husband Tim and I had been unsuccessfully trying for another baby for some time. Then, right around Mother’s Day, we got the present we’d been hoping for, a positive pregnancy test. The first few months were filled with joy and anticipation, but a scheduled ultrasound during my 19th week changed everything. The sonogram showed our son had a heart defect. As an intensive care nurse married to a physician, I knew how dangerous this could be. When they administered my amniocentesis— a test for genetic disorders that may be the cause of our baby’s heart condition—I was so numb that I didn’t even feel the needle go in me. The results showed no traceable cause; a twist of fate with no scientific reason. …