Snowflakes: How Each Heart Is Unique
Tune in with Heart to Heart with Anna Jaworski December 24th for her new episode âSnowflakes: How Each Heart is Unique.âÂ The heart is an extremely complicated organ. The muscle on one side of the heart differs from the muscle on the other side of the heart. There are valves that open and close allowing blood to travel to different parts of the heart, to the body and/or to the lungs. The heart has its own unique electrical system. There are structures inside the heart separating different chambers from one another.Â In babies with congenital heart defects, something goes wrong and there are a lot of places where something can go wrong.
We will discuss the noninvasive and invasiveÂ procedures doctors currently use to obtain a diagnosis for children with congenital heart defects. Weâll talk with the mother of a child with a very uniqueÂ heart and how having that child has affected her. Weâll also meet a nurse who isÂ working onÂ developing a feeding protocol to help babies born with congenitalÂ heart defects survive when they are between surgeries.
Kristi Pena is currently a stay-at-home mom and caregiver to her youngest son Christopher.Â Â He was born in heart failure and given less than 6 months toÂ live. He livedÂ under hospice for 15 months until the discovery of aÂ miraculous improvement.Â He has continued to do well despite the odds.Â Kristi volunteers forÂ Barth SyndromeÂ Foundation, The Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Blair EÂ Batson Hospital for Children, and severalÂ other various causes.
She helpsÂ new familiesÂ by sharing her knowledge in resources and advocacy. She hasÂ written for ComplexÂ Child e-Magazine and guestÂ blogged.Â She has met with various politicians advocating forÂ congenitalÂ heart defects and rare disease. Kristi’s family makes variousÂ appearances forÂ Children’s Miracle Network, traveling to Orlando and Washington DC. They’veÂ also been in countless news articles sharing their incredibleÂ story.
Gerald R. Marx, MD is a cardiologist at BostonÂ Childrenâs Hospital and is internationally recognized for his contributions to patient care and medicalÂ education. A devoted physician, he cares for children with theÂ most complicatedÂ heart defects. He is the author of over 180 peer-reviewedÂ publications,Â chapters of books, reviews and editorials. As teacher, he hasÂ lecturedÂ nationally and internationally, and has taught generations ofÂ cardiologyÂ fellows the art and science of echocardiography. Dr. Marx isÂ especiallyÂ renowned as a pioneer in 3-D imaging of congenital heartÂ disease.
Marx has also been a tireless volunteer for theÂ AmericanÂ Heart Association (AHA). The AHA gave him the Paul Dudley WhiteÂ Award at the 2012 Boston Heart Ball. Named in honor of one of Bostonâs mostÂ reveredÂ cardiologists and a founding father of the American HeartÂ Â Â Â Â Association, it isÂ the most prestigious tribute given by the AHAâs Founders AffiliateÂ and isÂ bestowed annually on a Massachusetts medical volunteer.
Cindy Weston, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNS-CC, FNP-BC began her nursingÂ career in 1989Â in the cardiovascular recovery room at St. Lukeâs EpiscopalÂ Â Hospital/TexasÂ Heart Institute in caring for infants, children and adults afterÂ cardiacÂ surgery and transplantation.Â She completed her masterâs degree in 1995 as a critical care clinical nurseÂ specialist with a research focus on re-warming after cardiacÂ surgery.Â In 1996 sheÂ received the Betty BakerÂ Distinguished Professorship in Cardiovascular Nursing. In 2001,Â she obtained aÂ post-Masterâs Family Nurse Practitioner certification and moved to San Antonio in 2011 where her career has come full circle by returning toÂ the care ofÂ infants and children with congenital heart disease.
Cindy Weston is a nurse practitioner with theÂ CongenitalÂ Heart Program and has served as the nurse practitioner for theirÂ SingleÂ Ventricle Clinic.Â She isÂ completing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice with a research focus in improvingÂ feeding and growth outcomes in infants with single ventricleÂ physiology.
Tune in December 24th for a New “Heart to Heart with Anna” Episode on the Voiceamerica Health and Wellness Channel for “Snowflakes: How Each Heart Is Unique”
Heart to Heart with Anna is a program specifically for the congenital heart defect or CHD community. Our show will address issues of concern to the CHD community. Topics revolve around some of the special needs of the child born with a CHD, how to become an advocate for the CHD child, parent and CHD survivor and what it means to be part of the CHD community. The show addresses issues of concern to the CHD community. Members of the CHD community will serve as Guests to share stories to encourage others. While the topics will be especially pertinent to the CHD community, they also have a broader appeal to any community dealing with chronic illness since many of our topics are faced by other communities dealing with chronic illnesses. Heart to Heart with Anna will be broadcast live every Tuesday at 12 Noon Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel.