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Woman Saved By Boston Children’s Hospital Keeps Promise to Give Back

WBZ-TV channel 4 tells the story of Nikoleta Maidou, a young woman who came from Greece at age 12 for life-saving open heart surgery at Boston Children’s. Now a resident of Brookline, Maidou has repaid the care and kindness she received as a child by volunteering at the hospital for the past four years. She will graduate this weekend from Hellenic College.

Celtics reporter back after terrifying ordeal with newborn

Abby Chin, a sideline reporter and host for Comcast SportsNet New England’s Celtics coverage, shares the emotional story of her premature infant’s life-threatening heart disorder and how the doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital saved her life. The Boston Globe reports that Mabel Chin was just 13 days old when she was diagnosed with a severe coarctation in her aorta, which was causing acute congestive heart failure. She was immediately admitted to the cardiac intensive unit at Boston Children’s Hospital and within an hour, tiny Mabel had open-heart surgery.  Three months later Abby boasts that her daughter is thriving, her weight has doubled and although she has one more surgery to repair a small hole in her heart, Mable’s future is bright.

Inherited high cholesterol twice as common in US as etimated

The Boston Globe (via Bloomberg Press) reports a new study from Boston Children’s Hospital’s Sarah De Ferrante, MD, finds a genetic condition that causes dangerously high cholesterol levels and may lead to heart attacks by middle age is twice as common in the US as doctors believe. The disorder familial hypercholesterolemiaor FH, may occur in as many as 1 in 250 adults, or about 834,500 people.  Identifying and treating FH in young people is critical, since experts believe excess cholesterol in the blood can lead to a fatty buildup in arteries, called plaque, and health complications early in life. This story also appeared in Science20, MedPage Today, and HealthDay News

Stoneham family teams up to fight youngest daughter's heart condition

Boston Children’s Hospital heart patient Aria DiCecca is featured in the Stoneham Sun. Aria was diagnosed shortly after birth with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Today the three year old is happy and healthy with only a few restricted activities and her older sister, Skylar, delivers care packages to patients at Boston Children’s.

Antonio's patches: Boy needed open heart surgery at 6 months old -

The Union Leader features a story on Boston Children’s patient Antonio Otero who was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot at birth. Further tests revealed Antonio had ventricular septal defect as well as a pinched valve and the infant would need open heart surgery. A team of  Boston Children’s doctors led by Sitaram Emani, MD, performed open heart surgery on the 6-month-old. Antonio, now 2, is a healthy, smart and happy boy with a great personality.

Jessica Lemus, girl revived by teachers, returns to Levittown school

Newsday reports on Boston Children’s heart patient, Jessica Lemus, as she returns to school for the first time in nearly five months. The teen suffered cardiac arrest during her science class last September and was revived by teachers and staff before being rushed to the hospital. She was then flown to Boston Children’s where she underwent successful open heart surgery.

3-D Heart Models
MIT Technology Review reports researchers at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a system that can take MRI scans of a patient’s heart and, in a matter of hours, convert them into a tangible, physical model that surgeons can use to plan surgery.

Heart-warming task for Mansfield mom, daughter
October 16, 2015
The Sun Chronicle reports Olivia Horn, a Mansfield High School junior,  will be accompanying a team of volunteers, including her mother Karen, a cardiac intensive care nurse from  Boston Children’s Hospital’s on a  pediatric cardiology medical mission to Ghana next month.  “Hearts and Minds of Ghana”  is an independent, charitable medical organization that brings hope and relief to children suffering from life-threatening heart ailments. The mission is headed by Children's cardiac surgeon, Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD, a native of Ghana, includes a team highly-trained medical personnel,  diagnostic, operating room and ICU equipment for each mission. 

UV-light enabled catheter fixes heart defects without surgery
October 6, 2015
Engadget reports that Boston Children’s Hospital’s Pedro delNido, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and a team of researchers from Children's Hospital, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Karp Lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital have jointly designed a specialized catheter for fixing holes in the heart using a biodegradable adhesive and patch. As the team reports in Science Translational Medicine, the catheter has been used successfully in animal studies to facilitate hole closure without the need for open heart surgery. The Boston Business Journal, News medical and BT.com also report on the news.

Building a better printed heart faster
September 18, 2015
Fortune reports that researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and MIT have come up with a better, faster way to build 3D printed heart models. With advances in the 3D work, the team can create the algorithm needed and print the model in three or four hours, compared to the 10 needed before. The Boston Herald, R&D Magazine and Mass Device also report on the study.

Simsbury High School junior undergoes successful heart transplant surgery
September 11, 2015
The Hartford Courant reports Simsbury High School junior Danny Deitz underwent successful heart transplant surgery Thursday at Boston Children’s Hospital. Deitz, a football and lacrosse player was diagnosed with an enlarged heart after falling ill in the spring and came to Boston Children's for his transplant. The wait was expected to take at least a few more months, so Thursday's news was a welcome surprise.

Outpouring of prayers and support for sick son of BRPD officers
September 8, 2015
NBC 33 (Baton Rouge) reports the infant son of two Baton Rouge police officers was flown to Boston Children’s Hospital from Baton Rouge for heart surgery. Luke Allen, just 14 days old, was diagnosed with a heart defect that will require open heart surgery. 

In Battle Of His Life, Danny Deitz Inspires Simsbury
September 8, 2015
The Hartford Courant reports that Danny Deitz is waiting for a new heart and in the meantime had an LVAD (left ventricular assist device)  implanted to help his heart work better while he waits for a transplant.

Attleboro 12-year old making brave recovery from serious heart ailment
May 28, 2015
The Attleboro Sun Chronicle tells the story of 12-year-old Boston Children’s patient Matthew Corso who was diagnosed with myocarditis - a disease that damages and inflames heart muscle, and in Matthew's case, causes blood clots in coronary arteries.

The Art of Being Alive Series: Meet a Company on a Mission to Spread Happiness
May 20, 2015
The Huffington Post interviews former Boston Children’s Hospital patient Heidi Burns, Founder and CEO of Project Happy Hearts, whose company is on a mission to spread happiness and create awareness for children living with congenital heart disorders. Heidi was born “blue” 26 years ago at Children's Hospital Orange County. She was diagnosed with transposition of the greater vessels and at that time no one had performed the "switch" surgery in Orange County. Just five days old, Heidi came to Boston Children's Hospital where she became the 100th baby to have the lifesaving switch surgery.

A rare disorder changed South Carolina girl's life forever
March 20, 2015
Boston Children’s Hospital patient Kenslie Shealy’s hometown of Lexington County, SC, is holding a fundraiser for the youngster according to a news report on WIS-TV (NBC, South Carolina). The 2-year- suffering from Midaortic syndrome, a progressive narrowing of the abdominal aorta, was flown to Boston Children’s in February for specialized care.  

Foligno seeks purpose, not sympathy
January 23, 2015
National Hockey League All-Star, Nick Foligno doesn’t often tell the entire story of just how close he and his wife came to losing their first child. They're not looking for sympathy. They tell it only because they're so passionate about the innovative surgery performed at Boston Children’s Hospital.  ESPN chronicles the Foligno’s journey that brought them to Children’s and interviews Ram Emani, MD, the doctor they credit for saving the life of their new-born infant daughter. 

Researchers Working To Perfect Injectable Oxygen
January 16, 2015
WBZ-TV reports on research by Boston Children’s John Kheir, MD, on micro-particles that can be injected directly into the bloodstream to quickly oxygenate your body, even if you are not breathing.

Dr. John Mayer: Children's heart surgery on all-island basis 'would work'
October 14, 2014
BBC Northern Ireland reports on Boston Children’s Heart Center surgeon, Dr. John Mayer, advising on the future of children's heart surgery in Northern Ireland.

Heart surgeon Pedro del Nido performs pint-size miracles saving children in womb
September 29, 2014
Fox News Latino reports on Dr. Pedro del Nido, a Boston Children’s Hospital heart surgeon who has changed the heart of surgery, giving thousands of children a chance of a normal childhood, or close, and a shot at a future.

Heading off the alarms at Boston Children’s Hospital
April 22, 2014

The Boston Globe
reports that Boston Children’s Hospital has joined with a startup named Etiometry to develop a system that aims to forecast changes in a patient’s condition before the patient’s medical alarms go off.

For heart surgery a glue replaces needle and thread
January 9, 2014
The Boston Globe reports on a promising development in the treatment of cardiac surgery. Boston Children’s Hospital Pedro del Nido, MD, and Nora Lang, MD, along with researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and MIT developed a surgical “super” glue that is nontoxic, biodegradable and fast-drying even in the presence of blood, forming a bond that is strong enough to close a hole in a beating heart. BBC, NPR, Philly.com, National Geographic, UPI, Fox News, The Huffington Post, The Scientist and MIT Technology Review also reported on this story.


2013 News Stories Archive

Disabled baby denied heart transplant elsewhere, receives care at Boston Children’s
December 4, 2013
CNNHealth.com’s “The Empowered Patient” column profiles a family whose 5-month-old infant was denied a heart transplant at various other institutions before coming to Boston Children’s Hospital – reportedly because he had a disease they believed would leave him with mental and physical disabilities.  The grateful mother said, “the difference between Boston and all the other hospitals is the way they cared…and that they cared.”  Boston Children’s Amy Roberts, MD, is included in the story. The story was also reported by The Daily Mail , Fox News, The New York Post and Gawker.com.

Two organs, one life saved
March 11, 2013
The Lowell Sun tells the story of four year-old Sofia Groff, who received a unique transplant at Boston Children’s in 2010 to treat her extremely rare medical condition, known as mid-aortic syndrome. In a transplant surgery recently described in the American Journal of Transplantation, Sofia received a new aorta and kidney. This was the first case to be reported where a length of aorta has been transplanted with a kidney in a child.

Cape Teen’s Heart Pump Making Medical History Before Transplant
March 6, 2013
WBZ-TV Channel 4 tells the story of 13 year-old Kyah DeSimone, who is the first patient discharged from Boston Children’s Hospital with a ventricular assist device, and the first child to return to school in North America with the device while awaiting transplant.

Experimental surgery at Children’s Hospital gives girl life

March 26, 2013
WCVB-TV channel 5 profiled 9-year-old Boston Children's patient Alexa Rand, who was diagnosed in utero with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare condition that causes a portion of the heart to under develop. Boston Children’s Frank Cecchin, MD, talks about the surgeries that saved her life and how well she is doing today. 

Yarmouth girl alive, waiting for new heart, thanks to device
March 5, 2013
The Cape Cod Times features the story of 13 year-old Kyah DeSimone, who was the first patient discharged from Boston Children’s with a ventricular assist device (VAD) and the first patient to go back to school in North America with a VAD while waiting for a heart transplant. Boston Children’s Christina VanderPluym, MD, and Beth Millian, RN, BSN, describe the team effort to get this VAD for Kyah and then train those in her community about the device. WCVB-TV Channel 5 also covers Kyah’s remarkable story.

Working to End Heart Transplant Rejection
March 5, 2013
Boston Magazine reports that Boston Children’s David Briscoe, MB, BCh, is leading the efforts to better determine the warning signs of a chronic heart transplant rejection.

Boston teen carries artificial-heart battery inside her black purse while she waits for transplant
March 4, 2013
The New York Daily News reports that doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital have treated  the first child who has been able to leave the hospital with a ventricular assist device (VAD). She carries the VAD in a small black purse, which lets her live a normal life outside of the hospital while waiting for a heart transplant.  Boston Children’s Hospital’s Christina VanderPluym, MD, is quoted. The Daily Mail also reports on this story.

Teen Takes Artificial Heart to School as She Waits for Transplant
March 1, 2013
ABCNews.com tells the story of 13-year-old Boston Children’s patient Kyah DeSimone who was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy at age 10. Until a new heart is available, Kyah has a portable, motorized pump in her heart, allowing her to return to school and live a normal life while she awaits transplant.

Heart Troubles Rare But Deadly in Young Athletes
February 28, 2013
ABC.com reports though relatively rare, a cardiac event that strikes a young athlete at practice or play is often deadly. About 100 young people die every year playing organized sports, and cardiac arrest is the cause in about half the cases. Boston Children’s Dominic Abrams, MD, provides perspective on the issue and offers prevention advice.

Stranger Saves Holyoke Boy… Now Active Life, with a New Heart
February 21, 2013
WGGB (ABC affiliate, Holyoke, Mass.) tells the story of 14 year-old Ardazan Dennis, who received a heart transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital when he was 10. Ardazan was born with a rare congenital heart defect and needed a transplant to save his life.

Children’s first cardio fetal intervention patient honored at Celtic game
February 19, 2013
The Ipswich Wicked Local reports that before Boston Children’s patient Jack Miller was born, an ultrasound revealed a blockage in his heart. Boston Children’s doctors performed a novel procedure, repairing Jack’s heart, then the size of a grape, while he was still in his mother’s womb. Thanks to this first-of-its-kind care, Miller was born perfectly healthy and remains healthy 11 years later

Wakefield Girl Gets Heart Transplant In Time For Valentine’s Day
February 14, 2013
WBZ-TV channel 4 reports that five-year-old Boston Children’s patient, Katy Murphy, struggled with a heart condition since birth and received a new heart just in time for Valentine’s Day.  Boston Children’s Dr. Kevin Daly, MD, the is interviewed. WHDH-TV channel 7 also reports on the youngsters’ transplant.

Good news for heart transplant recipients
January 9, 2013
The Metro newspaper reports on new research from Boston Children’s Kevin Daly, MD, and David Briscoe, MD, who found a way to use a combination of three blood-borne proteins to possibly prevent chronic rejection of heart transplants.

Poker Pals raising money for baby’s life-saving surgery
January 3, 2013
WCVB-TV channel 5 reports on the fundraising efforts to get a 6-month-old Pakistani infant with a complex heart condition to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Cardiac Care Center. Medical experts from Pakistan and India were unable to provide the complex medical care the baby needed and contacted hospital, were Boston Children’s Sitaram Emani, MD, agreed to manage the infants care.

The future of medicine is now
January 2, 2013
The Wall Street Journal reports on six medical innovations that could change the way we fight disease,including Boston Children’s Hospital’s cardiology team’s treatment for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Boston Children’s Sitaram Emani, MD, is interviewed.

2012 News Stories Archives

E'town teen undergoes heart transplant
March 1, 2012
The Press Republican
Boston Children’s patient Connor Marvin is featured.

North Country teen recovering from lifesaving surgery
March 8, 2012
Boston Children's patient Connor Marvin is featured.

EKG Testing May Spot Fatal Heart Conditions in Children
March 9, 2012
HealthDay News

Boston Children’s research is featured.

American Heart Association to recognize Dover doctor
April 3, 2012
The Dover-Sherborn Patch

Gerald Marx, MD, is featured.

Mass. student defies heart woes to enjoy baseball
April 22, 2012

The Boston Globe

18-year-old Boston Children’s patient Dylan Poulin is featured.

Heart disorder can't keep Deady off the diamond
May 31, 2012
The Andover Townsman
Boston Children’s patient Burton Deady is featured.

Tiny Robots Mend Broken Hearts
June 7, 2012

Technology Review and also reported by Mashable.
Work from Pedro del Nido, MD, and Pierre Dupont, PhD, is highlighted.

Study of the Day: An Incredible New Way to Breathe During an Emergency
June 28, 2012

The Atlantic 
also reported in Popular ScienceScientific AmericanTechnology ReviewThe ScientistFox NewsNatureThe Huffington PostInternational Business TimesSmart Planet, Daily Disruptionand Gizmodo.

Microparticles Deliver Oxygen
July 2, 2012

The Scientist
 and also reported by Fox News.
Research from John Kheir, MD, is featured

Business Journal to honor Champions in Health Care Aug. 23
July 18, 2014
The Boston Business Journal

 “Champions in Healthcare” are named, including Jean Anne Connor, DNSc, RN, CPNP, who directs nursing research in the cardiovascular and critical care programs.

“1 Family, 5 Heart Transplants”
July 19, 2012
Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD, is interviewed.

How a Viagra-like drug changed a little girl's life
July 26, 2012
WTVT (FOX Tampa)
Gerald Marx, MD, is interviewed about patient Elizabeth Jones.

Focus on Young Heart Patients' Development After Surgery
July 26, 2012
The Wall Street Journal
Jane Newburger, MD, MPH, is interviewed.

Krazy Days fundraiser to benefit Children’s Hospital patients
August 2, 2012
The Middleboro Gazette
Savanna's Bananas Heart Hero Team will be doing a fundraiser during ‘Krazy Days’ to raise money for Boston Children's Hospital Cardiac ICU patients and families.

Kids’ Cholesterol Down; Fewer Trans Fats Cited
August 7, 2012
Associated Press and also reported by Wall Street Journal (subscription required), ReutersFox NewsLos Angeles Times,Chicago TribuneThe Boston Globe and New York Daily News. Boston Children’s Sarah de Ferranti, MD, MPH, is interviewed.

Ventricular Assist Device May Offer Hope for Youngest Heart Patients
August 8, 2012
Christopher Almond, MD, and Cheryl Toole, RN, MS, discuss the study and patient Avery Toole’s story is included.

Injectable Oxygen
August 31, 2012
Technology Review

John Kheir, MD, research is featured.

Avery Toole, 8, Gets a Little Boy’s Heart, Bonding Their Families Forever
September 20, 2012
People Magazine
People Magazine’s “Heroes Among Us” features the story of Boston Children’s patient Avery Toole, who was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome at one day old and who later received a heart transplant. The article tells of her journey as well as that of the organ donor, a little boy from Texas. Avery’s mom Cheryl Toole, RN, MS, speaks of the close bond the families have developed.


Press Releases

Rebuilding a whole heart for children born with only half of one
November 6, 2012

Using a combination of surgical procedures developed over the last 11 years, surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital have established a new approach for rebuilding the heart in children born with a severe heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). This "staged left ventricle recruitment" (SLVR) strategy uses the existing standard single-ventricle treatment for HLHS and additional procedures to spur the body's capacity for healing and growth and encourage the small left ventricle in these children to grow and function.

Boston Children’s surgeons pilot expandable prosthetic valves for children with congenital heart disease
October 2, 2012

Pedro J. del Nido, MD, and his team have successfully implanted a modified version of an expandable prosthetic heart valve in several children with mitral valve disease. Read more...


2012 Press Releases Archives 

Tight Blood Sugar Control Won't Help Babies After Heart Surgery
September 7, 2012

Healthday News and also reported by MedPage Today
Michael Agus, MD, interviewed.

May 8, 2012
New robot successfully performs surgical closure in a beating heart

May 10, 2012
Building a drug-delivery platform to regenerate heart tissue

While current heart-attack treatments mainly try to preserve healthy heart tissue, scientists have been finding compounds that can stimulate growth of new tissue – either by getting heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) to replicate, or by stimulating other nearby cells to become cardiomyocytes. The challenge lies in getting these regenerative factors into the damaged heart tissue. Now, Bernhard Kuhn, MD, and team report success getting a sponge-like gel, soaked with one of these factors, to slowly release the medication into the space surrounding the heart, and from there into the damaged tissue.

August 23, 2012
Three Boston Children’s Hospital Clinicians Named “Champions in Health Care” by The Boston Business Journal

2011 press releases archives

December 19, 2011
Targeting EETs to treat cardiovascular disease may prove a double-edged sword

September 25, 2011
A heart of gold: Better tissue repair after heart attack

May 17, 2011
Boston Children's Hospital Ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report in More Specialties Than Any Other Children’s Hospital in the Nation


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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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