How I worked with Project ADAM to get an AED in my school

Through Project ADAM, teen brings AED to her school

14-year-old MiKayla worked with Project ADAM to get an AED installed in her school to help prevent sudden cardiac arrest in children.

My name is MiKayla Person. I’m 14 years old and last year I learned that my school was missing something very important. It did not have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), a portable electronic device that diagnoses potentially life-threatening cardiac problems.

Minutes can mean the difference between life and death when a student goes into cardiac …Continue reading →

Ranked among the best in all 10 specialty areas by U.S. News & World Report

Ranked among the best in all 10 specialty areas by U.S. News & World ReportWe believe that kids deserve the best. So we celebrate when others recognize Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as being among the best. That makes the last few weeks pretty exciting for us.

First was the announcement that we received Magnet recognition for the third time. Magnet status is awarded to health care organizations for quality patient care and nursing …Continue reading →

Why innovation matters: Getting the best care for your child

Deciding where to take your child for pediatric care involves weighing many factors. In my many years as a pediatric heart surgeon working with families, one of the key factors I always recommend they consider is innovation. For many reasons, I suggest that parents …Continue reading →

Growing up with a new heart, a new life

Vincent gets a new heartMy name is Vincent, and I am 14 years old. One week before my seventh birthday, I had a heart transplant at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. People made a big deal about it, because I was the first kid in the upper Midwest to receive a Berlin heart.

A Berlin heart is a fake heart that you wear on the outside of your body. It keeps you alive while you wait for a transplant. I was out of the hospital in just 10 days! Now, I get to …Continue reading →

Infographic: Heart-healthy tips for kids

As a pediatric cardiologist, I can assure you that forming heart-healthy habits will make a difference in your child’s life. Eating less fast food and decreasing time spent in front of a screen (TV or computer) are two very easy habits to start right now.

Check out this infographic on heart health for kids. Can you believe that for every 25 pounds of excess weight, the body needs to pump blood through an extra 5,000 miles of …Continue reading →

How to ensure all babies born in Wisconsin are screened for congenital heart defects

One out of every 100 infants born in the United States has a congenital (present at birth) heart defect — a problem that occurred as the baby’s heart was developing during pregnancy. Congenital heart defects are the most commonly occurring birth defect, and …Continue reading →

My child advocacy journey: Working together to make a difference

Children's Advocacy NetworkAs a cardiac nurse, I cared for patients one at a time as they went through heart surgery. My role was to educate and support the family, and keep the cardiac teams informed about patients in the surgical pathway.

In time, I wanted to be able to impact the care these patients received before, during and after their hospital stay. That’s when I took a leadership role in the heart program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. It has been very fulfilling to help steer the program with a view on our number 1 priority: our …Continue reading →

Our expertise in treating heart conditions gives kids like Oliver a chance at life

I’ve worked as a nurse clinician at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Herma Heart Center for 4 years. I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else.

I’m proud to work at Children’s Hospital because here, I’m part of a team that is dedicated to our patients and their families. The Herma Heart Center staff is always here to support our patients and their families, whether their child has a mild heart issue that he or she will outgrow or complex problems that will require multiple heart procedures. I believe this …Continue reading →

Talk to your pediatrician or OB/GYN about pulse oximetry screening — it saved my son’s life

Pulse oximetry screening saved Simon's life

Simon is now a thriving 18-month-old.

My son Simon was born in April 2011 at an area hospital. Soon after delivery I started to notice some “red flags,” like his breathing was a little fast, and at times his color did not look quite right. These red flags continued when we were discharged from the hospital, and Simon began feeding poorly and looking blue. Trying not to overreact, I took him to the pediatrician’s office where he received a pulse oximetry screening, which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood, and found he had low oxygen levels.

We were transported by ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin where Simon was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. He was …Continue reading →

Repairing tiny hearts: Why I love my job

Brandon was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

Brandon was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

As a pediatric heart surgeon, every day I ask myself the same two questions. I walk into the operating room thinking, “If this was my child, what would I want the surgeon to do?” And after spending hours repairing a tiny heart, roughly the size of a walnut, I ask myself, “If this was my child, what would I want the surgeon to tell me?”

It means so much when I can talk with families, tell them to relax and take a deep breath, because their child now has the best possible chances to grow up with a healthy heart.

One of my favorite stories is about Brandon, a 3-day-old baby who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a very serious heart condition where one side of the heart is …Continue reading →