American Heart Association

STORIES FROM THE HEART: NFL PLAY 60 ‘Super Kid’ inspires others fighting heart defects

Before the most recent Super Bowl, 10-year-old Hunter Paulin kicked off the biggest event on America’s sports calendar by running to midfield at the Superdome and handing the official game ball to the referee.

The scene brought tears to the eyes of Hunter’s mother, Wendy, who’d often wondered if Hunter’s […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: It can be tough being a kid with a heart problem; author helps ease pain he felt with book aimed at others going through it

Samuel Ward III wants kids with heart conditions to know they’re not alone.

He knows how they feel because he was once one of them.

The author – who goes by Len, and by the pen name Len N. Wallace – was born with a hole between the walls of his heart.

Shortly […]

SimpleScience@Heart: If you were a preemie, beware possible heart problem

People who were born prematurely should pay special attention to their heart health.

A study published in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation, found that young adults who were born more than a month early were more likely to have problems in the right side of their hearts. And the […]

SimpleScience@Heart: The couch is no place for people with heart defects

If you or your child were born with a heart defect, don’t skip out on physical activities.

While some irregular heartbeat conditions may limit what you can do, most people with heart defects can do just about any physical activity. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about what […]

Blake’s Story – What Heart Condition?

Blake is now almost two years post-surgery.  He is about to turn five, and is healthier than he’s ever been.  We always said that if we were going to subject Blake to this series of traumatic surgeries that we were going to allow him to have the most normal […]

Blake’s Story – A Long Journey

In April 2011, we went to TCH in Houston to get Blake’s heart catheterized. Blake didn’t have any issues with this catheterization, and we were released as an outpatient the same day with a plan for his third (and last planned) surgery for June.  The next surgery, the Fontan, […]

Blake’s Story – A Break

The next two years was relatively uneventful for Blake’s heart.  We had the opportunity to live like a normal family with fun and adventures.  Looking back, I feel like we tried to cram everything awesome into every minute (and if I’m being honest with myself I still do that).  […]

Blake’s Story – Second Surgery – The Glenn

12:30 AM – Blood transfusion to bring up oxygen saturation levels

7:30 AM – Surgery starts

9:40 AM – The team of surgeons have begun the surgery and successfully put Blake on the bypass machine.

12:30 PM – Dr. Fraser completed the first step of the bi-directional Glenn. He finished oversewing the […]

Blake’s Story – Altered Reality

After we returned home we had to figure out what our new normal was.  We had a healthy, active two-year-old, and a delicate heart baby.
We knew immediately that we wanted to give Blake as ‘normal’ of a life as possible, but we also didn’t want to be careless or […]

Blake’s Story – First Surgery: The Norwood

Timeline of 1st Surgery

5:30 AM – MRI

6:20 AM – Begin neurological brain monitoring for clinical trial

10 AM – Surgery Begins

11:40 AM – 1st update from doctors: the first hour and a half was spent prepping him for surgery

1 PM – 2nd update from doctors: he is on heart-lung bypass […]