Half a Heart Made Whole

October 22, 2019

Baby Ariana Heart Patient

Before Ariana was born, an ultrasound revealed a severe defect in her heart.

"She was going to require a lot of procedures starting in the first weeks of life," said Frank Scholl, MD, chief, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Heart Institute.

"Ariana had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Essentially, she was born with half of a heart," according to Steven Bibevski, MD, pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon.

"We were so scared," said Ariana's mom, Maria.

After surgery, Ariana's pediatric intensive care physician Teresa Duncan, MD, sat down with Maria. "We talked about what the journey was going to be, and that we were going to take every step with her," she said.

"And I was able to vent my questions and worries and she tells me, 'I will treat your baby as my child,'" Maria shared. "And she opened a scripture on her cell phone about the armor of God. It was a beautiful gift."

As Ariana's journey continues, her family is grateful for every moment together, and for the care they receive at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.

As Ariana's dad Gabriel put it, "You need that support, and they give it to us 100%."

They Gave Us Hope – Ariana’s Congenital Heart Defect Care

They Gave Us Hope – Ariana’s Congenital Heart Defect Care

Child with arm around older male in hospital gown

You can make a difference.

Donate to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation.