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 →

How Project Adam saved my life

Morgan Frain

Morgan Frain

My name is Morgan Frain, and I am 4 years old. On Jan. 7, 2012, my mom and dad took me to Lambeau Field in Green Bay for dinner and to play in the atrium. As we were getting ready to leave, my heart suddenly stopped and I fell to the ground. My dad turned me over and saw that my face was blue. He told my mom that they needed to do CPR, and told my 7-year-old sister, Hannah, to run and get help.

My mom started CPR right away, while a nice man from the Green Bay Packers security department brought my dad an …Continue reading →

Can heart surgery affect a child’s development?

Child with congenital heart diseaseWhen children have congenital heart disease (CHD) their road to recovery involves more than recovering from heart surgery. Research shows these children have a higher risk for developmental and learning problems compared to children without CHD. One reason for this is children with some forms of CHD spend an extended amount of time in the hospital recovering during a critical time for brain …Continue reading →