Lifesaving Heart Surgery for Newborn
Liz was 16 weeks pregnant when she and her husband, John, learned their unborn baby had a transposition of the great arteries – a congenital heart defect in which the main vessels that carry blood away from the heart are switched. The baby would need corrective surgery right after he was born.
"We were devastated," Liz says. "We immediately began looking for surgeons and facilities – in Miami and as far away as Pittsburgh and Boston." But no place seemed a good fit.
Then, Liz and John visited the Cardiac Center at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and met with Frank G. Scholl, MD, FACS, FACC, Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery.
"We were an emotional mess," Liz says. "We walked in with pages of questions – all of which Dr. Scholl answered and then some. For the first time, we felt at ease and safe. Everyone was so friendly and listened to our concerns. We knew right then that we would choose Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital."
When Quint was born, Liz only saw him for a few seconds before he was taken to neonatal intensive care. "One of the nurses took a photograph of Quint and brought it back to me," Liz recalls. "It was just the greatest gift."
Four days later, Dr. Scholl and his team operated on the tiny Quint. "Working with a good surgical team like ours is like a dance," Dr. Scholl says. "You need to be completely in sync, or you'll step on each other's feet. But if you have good partners, you can win 'Dancing with the Stars.'"
The circulating nurse gave Liz and John updates every half-hour. "Those were the longest half-hour intervals of our lives!" Liz says. "But it was textbook surgery and everything went perfectly."
Measure of Excellence
Now 1 year old, Quint is "definitely my explorer," Liz says. "He's very adventurous and into everything. He's just a fabulous, happy baby."
Liz praises Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital's team approach to providing care. "Everybody was on the same page," she says. "They all took such good care of us. It's hard to believe any other hospital would have measured up."
"We treat patients as individuals here," Dr. Scholl says. "It's not about me, or about our team – it's about the patient."