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The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital

Parker

PakerParker is not yet 2 years old, but he's already living up to his name. Within a month of his birth, doctors discovered the infant had multiple heart valve defects. The complications were so severe that at one point doctors considered him a candidate for a heart transplant.

But thanks to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital's internationally recognized Cardiovascular Surgery team - and a life-saving procedure never before performed on so young a child - Parker's heart is going strong.

Parker's story began in South Carolina in 2001. Soon after his birth, doctors discovered that the infant's aortic valve was nearly shut. Parker was immediately flown to a nearby children's hospital where he underwent a minimally invasive procedure to open his aortic valve.

Several months later, the family moved to West Palm Beach Florida, never dreaming that they would again be battling for Parker's life. A few weeks after the move, cardiologists discovered a problem with Parker's mitral valve and reported that the aortic valve was again becoming obstructed. It was then that a team of doctors recommended a heart transplant.

Hoping to avoid so drastic a measure, the family in January 2002 flew to a teaching hospital in the northeast for a valve repair. "We were told the surgery was a success, although the doctors had to insert a pacemaker," recalls Shelley, Parker's mother. "But just days after we returned home, Parker went into heart failure. We rushed him to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, where they welcomed us literally with open arms."

On February 13, 2002 - the day before Valentine's - a team led by Redmond P. Burke, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, performed a complicated procedure, replacing Parker's mitral and aortic valves with mechanical valves large enough for a small adult.

The Parker's family can't thank Dr. Burke and Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, enough. "They mean so much to me. They love Parker and treated him as if he were their own child," said Shelley. "I talk to parents of 'heart kids' from all over the world on the Internet, and I always recommend Nicklaus Children's. We're so grateful for everything they've done for Parker and for us."
 

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.
 
Heart Program Virtual Visit
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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