Family Advocacy Day Hero -- Meet Christopher E.

Christopher E., Age 4 Christopher E.jpg
Hometown: Howell, NJ
Hospital: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Christopher needed a new heart, and soon. The doctors at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) knew this was a possibility for Chris before he was even born. While still in the womb, Chris was diagnosed with abnormal aortic and mitral valves, a rare form of congenital heart disease. He underwent in utero surgery to open the aortic valve; the doctors hoped the catheter intervention would allow his heart to develop and function more normally.

Despite the procedure Chris still lacked adequate blood flow from his heart when he was born at a hospital in New Jersey, he was critically ill. He was transported to CHOP where an interventional cardiologist inserted a stent in the wall of tissue that separates the right and left atria of the heart. Shortly after this procedure it was determined that he needed a heart transplant to survive. The excellent care provided by the cardiac center team allowed Chris to survive until a heart became available for him a month later. His transplant was a success and he is now a healthy 4-year-old.

Fact: Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program helps fund training for more than 6,000 resident pediatricians every year.

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