Heart Center

All Articles in the Category ‘Heart Center’

Meet the Seattle Children’s Nurse Who Helped Deliver More Than One Thousand Pounds of Medical Supplies to Ukraine

Jenna Engelsvold helped gather and personally deliver 23 suitcases full of medical supplies to the border of Ukraine in March.

“Helping other people is a really important part of my life.”

When Jenna Engelsvold first arrived at Seattle Children’s as a nursing student more than a decade ago, she knew this is where she wanted to be.

“I was walking down the hall and looking around and just felt this gut feeling that this was where I wanted to start my career. To this day, I have never regretted that decision,” she explained.

As Engelsvold’s passion for pediatrics grew while at Seattle Children’s, so did her career, starting as a nurse in 2011 and then joining the nurse practitioner team in 2018 after completing graduate school. In her current role, she cares for patients who have undergone cardiac surgery and helps enable parents to take care of their child once they leave the hospital.

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Seattle Children’s Mobile ECMO Service Treats Critically Ill Kids During Transport Across More Than a Million Square Miles

In 2016, Seattle Children’s extended their mobile extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) capabilities to provide the service to critically ill children during transport to the hospital from anywhere in a five-state region. ECMO is an advanced life-support therapy that functions for the heart and lungs when the organs fail or need to rest. Seattle Children’s became the first children’s hospital on the West Coast to offer mobile ECMO service, providing critically ill patients with life-saving cardiac, respiratory or transplant care while they are being transported to the hospital.

“The main reason we developed mobile ECMO is because it enables us to take care of kids over a very broad region and offer the same type of high-level medical care to the kids who are not fortunate to live near a hospital like Seattle Children’s,” said Dr. Michael McMullan, chief of Cardiac Surgery and director of mechanical cardiac support and extracorporeal life support services at Seattle Children’s, as well as an professor of surgery at the UW School of Medicine. “When we looked at data in Washington state, we found that kids who do not live near a hospital like ours are at a three-fold increased risk of dying of illness due to a lack of access to care.” Read full post »

3D Heart Printing: Big Impact for Little Hearts

A pair of hands showing a 3D-printed heart

A 3D printed heart

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the old saying goes. But how much is a 3D-printed model of what’s in that picture worth?

For pediatric surgeons who use 3D-printed hearts of the children they operate on, their impact can be huge. And for surgeons-in-training, this technology can allow them to learn new and rare procedures on a realistic-looking organ.

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Adjustable Heart Stent Promises Lifelong Solution for Infants with Congenital Heart Disease

The Renata Minima Stent can be gradually expanded up to adult size over the course of the child’s lifetime

As Director of Cardiac Catherization Labs at Seattle Children’s, Dr. Brian Morray routinely performs diagnostic as well as complex heart procedures on patients as young as a few days old all the way up to adults. Part of his job is to provide minimally invasive services for children with congenital heart disease (CHD).

“Congenital heart disease is the most common kind of congenital birth defect,” said Morray. “For the vast majority of our patients, it occurs when the heart is developing in utero. It’s a structural abnormality of the heart that we frequently diagnose before birth.”

“So Much to Be Thankful For”: A Year In the Life of the Hatch Family Part Two

Two weeks before their 3-month-old son was scheduled for his second open-heart surgery, Kyle and Samantha Hatch were told their daughter likely had neuroblastoma.

Things are looking up for the Hatch family. William (left) celebrated his first birthday in May — a major milestone for children with his heart condition. While Penny still has a few months of neuroblastoma treatment, her hair is growing back and her nasogastric (NG) tube is out. Still, getting to this point has not been easy.

“We were utterly broken,” Samantha said. “But we had to pull it together for our children.”

After Penny’s tumor was discovered on her MRI, she needed a biopsy to definitively diagnose what providers suspected was cancer.

On August 11, 2020, Penny walked into Seattle Children’s hospital for the procedure. It was the last time Samantha and Kyle saw their daughter walk.

After a tumor sample was collected, Penny was discharged. But at home, Samantha said her daughter started screaming in agony. “She couldn’t stand and was in unbearable pain. I thought, ‘This isn’t normal. We’re going back in.’”

Penny was quickly readmitted to Seattle Children’s for pain management. Watching Kyle hold her in the hospital, Samantha noticed Penny was kicking her left leg while her right leg hung limp.

“It was terrifying,” Samantha said. “She couldn’t move it.”

The biopsy caused Penny’s tumor to swell and press against the nerves in her spinal cord, paralyzing her right leg. To make matters worse, the biopsy confirmed Penny did, in fact, have high-risk neuroblastoma. Read full post »

A Son With a Heart Condition, a Daughter With Cancer: A Year in the Life of the Hatch Family Part One

Kyle Hatch holds baby William, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (left). Three months later, Penny (pictured with her mom, Samantha) was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

Who are your heroes? Are they exceptionally talented? Do they have superhuman abilities? Are they destined for greatness?

Or, are they ordinary people who face tremendous challenges and persevere out of love?

Kyle and Samantha Hatch undoubtedly fall in the latter category. In the past year, one of their twin sons was born with a life-threatening heart defect. Three months later, their 18-month-old daughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. And all of this happened during a global pandemic.

“We often talk about literary heroes, people who face adversity even when they’re unprepared,” Kyle Hatch said. “That’s what makes them brave, and that’s why our kids are some of the bravest people we know.” Read full post »

Greyson’s Heart Condition Inspires Family to Give Back

It was during a 20-week ultrasound that Sarah Ouellette got life-changing news: Her baby would be born with a serious heart defect.

“They didn’t know if my baby would survive,” Ouellette said. “But I knew deep down that I wanted to fight for my child’s life.”

Feeling lost, Ouellette sought out a second opinion.

“I contacted Seattle Children’s, and it was there that I learned a lot more about my baby’s diagnosis. They made me feel more at ease.”

Ouellette connected with the Seattle Children’s Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment Program, where she was introduced to Dr. Bhawna Arya, director of fetal cardiology, who guided her every step of the way.

Greyson had a diagnosis of pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, a heart condition where only half of the heart has formed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common types of birth defects, and babies born with these conditions are living longer and healthier lives. CHDs affect nearly 1% of, or about 40,000, births per year in the United States.

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Baby Battles Fatal Heart Condition and Comes Out Unstoppable

On New Year’s Eve of 2019, Sierra Landman learned she was pregnant with her first child.

“We were so excited,” Landman said. “Then we learned that something wasn’t right with our baby’s heart.”

Nevaeh Landman was born on September 10, 2020 at Madigan Army Medical Center with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and immediately rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she would stay for the next several days.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is when the left side of the heart is not fully developed. It is a rare and serious birth defect. Babies with HLHS need surgery in the first weeks of life. They will have a series of surgeries to redirect blood flow through their heart.

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Families Say Thank You to Russell Wilson: “You’re Our Man of the Year”

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. Every year, each NFL team nominates one player from their team who has had a significant positive impact on his community. This year, Russell Wilson was nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, and at Seattle Children’s we wanted to say congratulations and share how much Wilson means to us. Read full post »

Malachi Gets Special Garbage Day Surprise

Tuesdays are 2-year-old Malachi Stohr’s favorite days. Every Tuesday, rain or shine, Whitney Stohr and Malachi bundle up and wave to the garbage men as they empty the garbage bins at the end of the driveway. Malachi and Whitney then take a walk around the neighborhood, following the big green truck along its route. Malachi loves garbage day, and so when Seattle Children’s found out, they got in touch with Waste Management to plan a special surprise.

“So much of Malachi’s life is scheduled around his medical needs,” Stohr said. “He spends many days in the hospital, in clinics, in therapy. We’re eternally grateful to have that level of care available to us. We are thankful to have such ready access to the services at Seattle Children’s and in our local community. But, at the end of the day, Malachi is just a typical toddler. He loves big trucks and watching the trash bins go up and down, up and down.” Read full post »