How Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin saved my life

Due to the many wondrous talents and skills by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin physicians and nurses, I am alive today, and I will continue to live day after day after day. I have not been to every clinic and specialist (knock on wood, please), but I’ve been to quite a few over the last almost seventeen years of my life. From orthopedics to ENT to pulmonary functions to the Herma Heart Center, I’ve been down many hallways in the hospital.

What is especially promising and a relief to know is that my cardiologist, Dr. Earing, not only takes care of kids, but also has an adult clinic. This guarantees a knowledgeable …Click here to continue reading

A delicate balance for my beautiful daughter

Mo and Kate Jurgens

Mo and Kate Jurgens

My daughter Maureen (Mo) has Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, a connective tissue disease similar to Marfan syndrome. Loeys-Dietz syndrome is complicated. It affects the connective tissue that runs throughout the body—organs, muscles, and blood vessels. You name it. It’s present. When the tissue is weakened and defective, it is bound to wear down, be stretched to its limits and sometimes break. A major issue for Loeys-Dietz patients is they develop aneurysms throughout the body along with having many issues with the joints and other soft tissues.

Mo was born in 1995. Loeys-Dietz syndrome was not discovered until 2005. She has made many trips to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin since she was born, visiting a number of clinics including orthopedics, ENT and neurology. Her first visit to …Click here to continue reading

Never stop fighting: A Herma Heart Center Hero


Callan is the 2012 Herma Heart Center Hero.

At 1-month-old, Callan was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia, a congenital heart condition that makes it difficult for blood to flow to the lungs. His doctors in Madison gave him a dismal prognosis, but his parents refused to give up hope. They reached out to the Herma Heart Center team at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee as a last resort for treatment options that might save Callan’s life.

Within a few hours, Callan was rushed to the Herma Heart Center, where physicians recommended a series of three open-heart surgeries. The surgeries took place over several months, and Callan had his ups and …Click here to continue reading

Save a life in your school or home: Lead your cardiac education

Heart awareness monthFebruary is heart awareness month, and it’s a great time to increase awareness of cardiac emergencies in schools and homes. Knowing the causes and warning signs of cardiac arrest and the importance of calling 911 during these emergencies are useful messages for parents, teachers and students.

It’s recommend to have an emergency plan in place and know where the automated external defibrillator (AED) is located, if available. Having a plan and discussing it with …Click here to continue reading

Heart awareness for newborns: Learn how a simple screen can save a life!

February is heart awareness month, a time when we encourage adults to reflect and make changes in their lives for healthier hearts. This is also a good time to raise awareness of congenital heart disease (CHD) and children who start their lives with heart conditions.

CHD is the most common birth defect, and it is present in eight of out of every 1,000 births. Some forms of CHD cause few problems in health, growth and development. Other …Click here to continue reading

Quick thinking teachers save a child’s life

Recently there was a segment on the TODAY show about a young girl in Texas who was saved by the quick thinking of her teachers and the automated external defibrillator (AED) in the school. I encourage you to watch this interview with her parents about the rescue, caught on camera. …Continue reading this post

My family knows the impact of congenital heart disease

When I was 4, I was diagnosed with an ostium primum atrial defect, a hole in the area between the two upper chambers of my heart. I had open-heart surgery at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to repair the heart defect. My brother, Jim, passed away at age of 20 from complications of congenital heart disease, and my daughter, Cassie, 5, had open-heart surgery …Continue reading this post

Heart specialist has watched hospital grow, learned about deer hunting in the past 10 years

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2011. As a pediatric heart specialist, I have seen real growth at the hospital during that time. I came here from Chicago. The adjustment from the bustling city to the quiet community of Neenah took me some getting used to, but I love it.

When I started at Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley in January 2002, the clinics had about 160 patients and all of the clinics’ charts could fit on one rolling cart. Now, the charts fill a …Click here to continue reading

To act or not to act? There should be no question

I’m proud to say I’m the father of three athletes. I’m lucky to say that none of my children have fallen victim to sudden cardiac arrest. But, what if this did happen? What if I wasn’t there? Would someone know how to help?

In addition to my role as dad, I also am a cardiologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. One of the programs we offer is Project ADAM, an initiative that helps schools recognize …Click here to continue reading

Children’s Hospital employees Go Red for heart disease and stroke awareness

You may have noticed a red hue illuminating the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin hallways this month. You also may have noticed employees wearing red throughout Children’s Hospital and Health System. These efforts support the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men. The Go Red initiative draws awareness to this and encourages people to take action to decrease their …Click here to continue reading