Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Healthwatch Spring 2009
Healing Tiny Jeffrey's Heart Defects
West Palm Beach Family Turns to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital
Jeffrey Jr. was born with multiple heart defects requiring an emergency transfer to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. With five other children to care for in their West Palm Beach home, Jeffrey's parents were anxious at the thought of their youngest child being so gravely ill and so far from home. Luckily, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital provided complimentary lodging at the Conine Clubhouse, easing the family's stress.
Jeffrey's severe, complex condition required open heart surgery and interventional catheter-based procedures.
"They showed us X-rays, they brought us books, and they made diagrams," says Jeffrey Sr.
"They were very open about the risks and the benefits of all the options, and they broke everything down for us so we could understand. We really appreciated that."
"We emphasize a team effort," says Kak-Chen Chan, MD, MBBS, Director of Inpatient Pediatric Cardiology Services at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, and a pediatric cardiologist on the medical staffs of Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Hospital Miramar. "My colleagues and I believe patient care should be individualized and the family should play a major part in the decision-making process."
Innovative Heart Procedures
When Jeffrey was only 2 weeks old, Dr. Chan collaborated with Richard A. Perryman, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgical Services at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and Memorial Regional Hospital, and a cardiovascular surgeon on the medical staff of Memorial Hospital Miramar; and Frank G. Scholl, MD, FACS, FACC, Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, and a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon on the medical staffs of Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Hospital Miramar, to connect Jeffrey's right ventricle and pulmonary artery and encourage normal blood flow to his lungs. Ten weeks later, his remaining heart defects were repaired using open heart techniques.
The innovative approach eliminated the need for a conduit (tube), which would have required periodic replacements. And with the operations 10 weeks apart, Jeffrey grew and gained strength, reducing the risk of complications.
Now thriving, Jeffrey is back home in West Palm Beach with his family.
The world-class medical expertise, thoughtful attention to patients' loved ones, and "phenomenal staff " created a remarkable healthcare experience, says Jeffrey's mother, Claudia.
"It's hard to find so many good people all in the same place, but we found that at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital," she says. "I just want to tell them, 'Thank you.'"
To find a Memorial physician who is committed to patient- and family-centered care, call Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Physician Referral Service toll-free at (866) JDCH-DOC. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.