Family Advocacy Day Hero -- Meet Jaden V.
Jaden V., Age 5
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Hospital: St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa, Tampa, FL
Jaden is a sweet, loving and happy boy who enjoys swimming, soccer, tae kwon do, and going to school. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. At just 4 days old, Jaden underwent open-heart surgery. Since then, he has undergone two additional open-heart surgeries, several catheterizations, the insertion of a gastric feeding tube, and months of physical rehabilitation.
Today, Jaden is a national ambassador for Speak Now for Kids, a patient advocacy organization. His family believes this honor gives them the opportunity to speak out on behalf of other children with complex needs as well as the importance of obtaining affordable, comprehensive health care coverage.
For the first three years of Jaden’s life, Medicaid covered nearly all of Jaden’s care, including his heart surgeries, hospitalizations, visits to his pediatric specialists and necessary medical equipment. He is now covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With a potential heart surgery in the future and a lifetime of medications, this coverage is a critical lifeline to Jaden and his family.
Fact: Since enactment in 1997, CHIP has helped reduce the uninsured rate for children to a historic low.