Children’s Fetal Cardiology Program featured on NPR’s Morning Edition

by Tripp Underwood on December 13, 2010

This morning, NPR ran a piece on Children’s Hospital Boston’s Fetal Cardiology Program that focused on its success in performing in-utero heart surgery. It’s a very complex program that brings together doctors, surgeons and nurses to try to repair blood vessels the size of a pen point in a fetal heart no bigger than a grape; all while the child is still in the mother’s womb.

In the following video, Wayne Tworetzky, MD, of Children Hospital Boston’s Cardiovascular Program discusses how difficult these procedures can be, not just because of the small size of fetal hearts, but also because of complications that can arise from performing invasive surgery on a fetus when the mother carrying the baby is perfectly healthy.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) isn’t the only heart condition treated here at Children’s; in fact, our specialists treat a wide variety of patients for many cardiovascular anomalies. Here are just a few of their stories:

• Cheryl Toole had been a nurse at Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for over a decade when her day-old daughter had to undergo heart surgery. Here, she shares her experience as patient’s mother instead of care provider.

• Meet Ann Louise an 18-month old charmer who received heart surgery from Children’s doctors before she was even born.

• Sarah, the mother of baby Aiden, discuses what it was like to have child born with Pentalogy of Cantrell, a rare heart condition with a very low survival rate, and how the doctors at Children’s helped Aiden beat the odds.

When Casey Bolton learned her unborn baby had (HLHS) she had never even heard of the condition, never mind understand its complicated treatment. Now, inspired by the care she and her baby received at Children’s, the young mom works tirelessly to raise awareness on HLHS and its treatment so other mother’s won’t have to go through the fear and confusion she did.

Do you or a family member have a story that you’d like to tell? Please write your experiences in the comments and we’ll do our best to help you share your story with the world.

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