Patient Stories 

Below are inspiring stories about some of the patients we have been privileged to treat. 

BIG expertise heals little Henry’s heart

Henry Dyer of Tallahassee

Henry Dyer from Tallahassee passed all his newborn screenings but a month later, his pediatrician noticed a heart murmur that revealed an atrial septal defect (ASD). His pediatric cardiologists at Tallahassee Primary Care Associates (TPCA) expertly managed his care until complications made it necessary for him to have surgery right away. While most children with ASD do well until the age of 4 or 5, Henry’s case was unusual in that he suffered a quick progression to congestive heart failure. Through a collaborative partnership with TPCA and Wolfson Children’s Specialty Center at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH), he was sent to Wolfson Children’s Hospital to have his heart surgically repaired. Today, Henry is keeping his parents busy chasing him around the house. Read Henry’s full story here.

Southside boy born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome doing well one year after transplant, receiving follow-up care at Wolfson Children's

This is Oliver - born with a severe heart defect he is an active 2 year old today

In June 2014, Oliver Keene from Mandarin was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a severe defect in which the structures of the left side of the heart are underdeveloped. After making it through his first corrective surgery six days after birth, Oliver’s condition failed to improve due to a leaky tricuspid valve, which was part of his heart defect. An investigative heart catheterization performed by his pediatric cardiologist at the UF Health Pediatric Cardiovascular Center at Wolfson Children’s revealed that Oliver’s best chance at survival would be a heart transplant, and thanks to the generosity of a donor family, he received one in January 2015 at UF Health in Gainesville. Today, little Oliver is nearing his second birthday with a strong new heart, and a second chance at life. Read Oliver’s story here.

Jacksonville Beach woman born with congenital heart condition thrives with benefit of ongoing care

This is Jennifer - discovered with a heart ailment at three weeks old is today is a 50-year-old mother of two children

Jennifer Killingsworth was only three weeks old the day her mother noticed that she was starting to turn blue during bath time. It was 1969, and doctors confirmed she had a congenital heart condition called Tetrology of Fallot, which would require multiple interventions over the years to survive. Several decades and open-heart surgeries later, Jennifer is thriving as she approaches 50, receiving ongoing care from pediatric congenital heart experts at the UF Health Pediatric Cardiovascular Center at Wolfson Children's Hospital, who understand the complexity of her condition, and her heart's anatomical differences from her many reconstructions. Read Jennifer's story here.

Daytona Beach boy born with complex heart defects thriving after multiple surgeries at Wolfson Children’s Hospital

This is Derrick - pediatric cardiovascular surgeons at the Terry Heart Center at Wolfson Children's Hospital made it possible for him to be a thriving 4-year-old today

Derrick Schachte was born in 2011 with four heart defects that endangered his life, and required several open-heart surgeries to repair. Added to that were immune and blood clotting disorders that made treating him more difficult because of a higher infection risk, and extra measures that had to be taken to prevent clots from building up in his heart shunt. Derrick’s case is one of the most complex ones pediatric cardiovascular surgeons at the Terry Heart Center at Wolfson Children’s Hospital have seen, but thanks to their expertise and care, he is thriving. Read Derrick’s story here.

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