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The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital

Brisa

BrisaLittle Brisa Gutierrez-Guerrero started life with a severely broken heart, and her frailty seemed destined to break her mother’s heart as well. Brisa had only one lung and so many heart defects that physicians in the north Florida community where she was born in October 2011 encouraged her mother to prepare to say farewell to the tiny newborn.

Leticia Guerrero refused to accept that Brisa had no future. She requested a second opinion and was told that her best bet for the type of medical heroics her child would need would be the Congenital Heart Institute at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital. The program is a nationally renowned referral center for children with highly complex conditions.

Nicklaus Children's was quick to accept the baby, who was airlifted by the hospital’s LifeFlight Critical Care Transport Team when she was just days old. “She needed multiple repairs, including repairs to her aortic arch; closure of an atrioventricular canal defect; repair of an atrial septic defect (a hole in her heart); and repair of a pulmonary artery sling, a condition in which the left pulmonary artery originates from the right pulmonary artery,” said Dr. Redmond P. Burke, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at Nicklaus Children's.

And if all of that were not enough, the child later needed to have her trachea rebuilt, in a second procedure, all within 30 days of her birth.

“Brisa had two extremely complex surgeries in her first month of life,” said Dr. Burke. “When you combine a baby with a fighting spirit with a team of doctors ready to fight for her against the odds, amazing things happen,” he said.

Leticia, now at home in Tallahassee with Brisa and the rest of her family, couldn’t agree more. “I am speechless. To think that they were going to disconnect her from life support before she was taken to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital. And look at her now. She is thriving. Dr. Burke and the care team saved her life, and I am just in awe.”

Latest Heart Program News

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Acquires 3D Printer to Support Pediatric Surgical Planning and Research

The hospital’s use of 3D printing technology has proven to be instrumental in creating surgical solutions for children with complex congenital heart defects, who had been considered to be inoperable using conventional imaging techniques.

The Heart Program at Miami Children’s Hospital Uses 3D Printing Technology

The Heart Program at Miami Children’s Hospital Uses 3D Printing Technology to Plan Complex Heart Surgery on Pediatric Patient

Athletes from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School Receive Free EKG Screenings at Miami Children's Hospital

Athletes from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School Receive Free EKG Screenings at Miami Children's Hospital 


In Depth Tour of The Heart Program
Take an in-depth tour and meet the team members that make up the Nicklaus Children's Heart Program.
 
For more information about The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital or to make an appointment, please call (305) 662-8301.
 
Optum Center of Excellence


U.S. News Best Children's Hospitals 

Recognition and Outcomes Tell the Story

The Heart Program provides care for more children with congenital heart disorders than any other hospital in Florida and has been ranked among the nation’s best for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S.News & World Report.

What’s more, The Heart Program has cardiovascular surgery outcomes that are among the very best in the nation, according to a U.S.News & World Report assessment conducted as part of the most recent ranking.

Nicklaus Children's Heart Program is a qualified participant in Aetna’s Institutes of Excellence™  network.

A Distinguished History of Saving Little Hearts

During the 1960s, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, became the first facility in Florida to perform pediatric open-heart surgery. Over the years, the hospital has continued to build on this tradition of leadership and excellence in pediatric cardiology.

In 1995, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, recruited top cardiac physicians and surgeons in pediatric cardiology to oversee new services that included Florida’s first dedicated Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, a state-of-the-art Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Program, and, later, a Clinical Research Program and Electrophysiology Program.

The Ultimate in High-Tech meets High-Touch

The Heart Program offers the most advanced diagnostic, surgical and interventional techniques and equipment for treatment and management of pediatric cardiovascular conditions. The pediatric cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology laboratories are the most technologically advanced in existence, allowing The Heart Program to offer children the latest innovations.

While in this high-tech arena, children and their families are at the center of a multidisciplinary medical effort. They are surrounded by a team of doctors, nurses and staff who know, through years of experience, just how to meet the special needs of the tiniest patients, as well as how to support families in managing the stress of having a child in a critical-care setting.


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